Gateway Music – 2015
10 tracks; 41 minutes
Blues Overdrive is a Danish four piece band that has been together since 2001 and Clinch! is their second full album. Singer and guitarist Martin Olsen wrote nine of the ten tracks and there is one cover of a John Nemeth song. With Martin are Andreas Andersen on guitar, Thomas Brick on bass and Lars Heiberg on drums. There are also two prestigious guest guitarists, Duke Robillard and Joel Paterson.
The album opens with “Pistol Blues” which has moody chords from the two guitarists and Martin’s vocals which match the tune, almost semi-spoken. The song threatens to move into a more dramatic section but never quite takes off. Better is “Rolling Thunder” which ups the pace, Martin responding with a stronger vocal and the guitars ringing out loud and clear. The first of Duke’s two guest spots comes on “Three Time Lover” which, for this reviewer, was the standout track here, a catchy shuffle, the twin guitars playing well off each other, Duke taking the central solo and one of those ‘bragging’ lyrics about the author’s prowess as a lover. “Woman Of Love” has a hint of latin in the rhythm and especially in the solo but is slightly marred by Martin’s very laidback vocal delivery. John Nemeth’s “Daughter Of The Devil” appeared on his 2009 CD “Love Me Tonight” and Blues Overdrive play it in what is now becoming their familiar ‘moody chord’ style, Duke Robillard making his second appearance here though it is not easy to tell which of the three guitar parts is his.
“Jealous” does lyrically what the title suggests, Martin expressing his feelings over a steady rhythm with some nice flourishes from the guitarists, a solid track. “Cherry” is a strangely hypnotic song, each verse extolling the virtues of a different girl, Cherry, Jane Macy and Mary Anne being the girls name-checked as Joel Paterson adds some keening pedal steel to the mix. Whether it is Martin’s vocal on “Lay Your Burdon Down” or the chugging rhythm but The Doors come to mind when listening to this one (or is the spelling intended to evoke thoughts of Eric Burdon?). The band returns to a more upbeat feel on “Living Here Without You” which has a hint of the riff from Bobby Bland’s “24 Hour Blues”, making a very pleasant listen. The album closes with “Aurora” which suffers from the least convincing vocal of the album which, combined with a repetitive tune, makes for a disappointing finale.
Overall this album had some good points, like the solid guitar work, but has variable quality vocals and a lot of tunes of similar pace.