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(53:52, ‘Osta Love’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Prologue 4:51 2. Fragile Freedom 5:35 3. Alienation 4:34 4. Subway 5:13 5. Red Sky 4:59 6. Insomnia 6:12 7. The Guards 9:27 8. Alaska 4:45 9. Shine 4:37 10. Epilogue 3:41 LINEUP: Tobias Geberth - guitars, bass; keyboards; vocals Leon Ackermann – drums, percussion With: Gregor Nicolai – bass Florian Hauss – piano Sarah Gretsch – voice
Prolusion. The German project OSTA LOVE, originally Osta Lcve, was formed as a studio-based venture by Tobias Geberth and Leon Ackermann back in 2010. They released an initial production, "Colours", in 2011, which now appears to have been withdrawn. "Good Morning Dystopia" is their official debut album, and was self-released at the tail end of 2013.
Analysis. When I encounter a band like Osta Love, I often find myself asking if you can be too inspired by influential bands. I mean, few bands manage to invent a totally original style, but many manage to incorporate elements into something that sounds fresh and new, often by replicating details or seeking inspiration by accident or design from lesser known bands. But in the case of Osta Love, you'll be able to pinpoint their main influence from the get go, and they explore this specific sound almost to perfection at times. As one might perhaps guess just by looking at the name of this album, Pink Floyd is the massive influence that dominates this production through and through. Careful and deliberate vocal lines, dark and dystopian keyboard arrangements, careful use of acoustic and dark-toned electric guitars, hovering dampened organ, richly textured atmospheric keyboard arrangements and plenty of atmospheric guitar soloing in the manner of David Gilmour. Some of the compositions here sounds like they have escaped from a Pink Floyd recording session from the late ‘70s sometime, and apart from a more contemporary studio makeover, they could have been presented as uncovered, unreleased Pink Floyd material without anyone being in doubt about it. Osta Love isn't quite as skilled as the originals when it comes to adding nerve and tension to their material however, and some of the songs suffer a tad from being too unfocused, but apart from that, this is a very well made slice of dark, atmospheric progressive rock following very closely in the footsteps of Pink Floyd. With a couple of exceptions. The exceptions follow rather closely in the footsteps of another band, and perhaps somewhat predictable that other band is , Porcupine Tree. A track like Fragile Freedom in particular hits home on the sound of that band quite perfectly to my ears, and bits and pieces of Porcupine Tree-sounding details do flavor selected sequences throughout this album. Personally I found Osta Love most intriguing when they attempt to blend the styles of both bands on a more equal basis, and they manage to achieve that quite nicely on the dark and subtly twisted The Guards. As far as album highlights go this one shines bright, and with a tad more focus it might be reworked into a true monster tune. It's not that it's a weak song by any means in it's current guise, but as far as being catchy and compelling goes it can be tweaked to become even more so. They have conjured up a monster guitar riff on this song, explored in a couple of variations, and also replicated by the bass guitar at some point, which is a nice and effective and somewhat innovative approach, as far as securing continuity goes.
Conclusion. If you tend to favor bands described as dark, atmospheric and possibly also cinematic sounding, and you just can't get enough of that late 70's Pink Floyd sound, then Osta Love's debut album "Good Morning Dystopia" has your name written all over it. In particular, if you don't mind a side serving of Porcupine Tree. Not the most original material around, but for those who have a deep affection for music of this kind that really doesn't matter either.
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