Mad Oak CD
This is Mellow Bravo’s self-titled second album of passionate hard-rock, choc-ful of raw bluesy numbers and hook-laden songwriting. Perhaps the greatest asset of the Boston band is Jess Collins on keyboards whose occasional vocal interjections prove interesting diversity from lead singer Keith Pierce’s impassioned, though sometimes wearing, central performance.
By far the best track here is ‘Ridin’ where Jess Collins’ vocal is to the fore and the band hit the right blend of sledgehammer riffing and soaring melodies. I found myself wishing all the songs were in that same vein rather than some of the country-blues slop that weighs down the album such as ‘When I’m In Pain’ or ‘Senorita’. However, the band certainly don’t disgrace themselves throughout and, though I’m probably not the exact target market for this release, I’m sure many out there will love their tough, ragged, take on classic rock.
In truth this is one of those albums that’s probably destined to be damned with faint praise – though filled with numerous hooks and performed well enough, I couldn’t quite dig the band’s overall sound and was left feeling slightly unfulfilled by the end. Occasionally it just sounds like just a super-competent bar band rather than real contenders.