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Black Oxygen

The American Dream


David Lyle – Vocals, Lead Guitar

Nick Lyle – Drums, Percussion

Jordan Myer – Bass Guitar

Matt Venegoni – Rhythm Guitar


            Black Oxygen burst onto the music scene in 2005 and hasn’t looked back since. In 2007 they won a local battle of the bands and in 2008 lead guitarist David was named best guitarist. This helped launch the band and allowed them to share the stage with Sick Puppies, Hurt, The Veer Union, and more. The guys have been writing and touring ever since. They just released their debut album titled The American Dream. Consisting of 13 tracks that spread 50 minutes the record is said to be rocking, let’s dig and in find out. They open things up with the titled cut. “The American Dream” begins with some big time guitars that will get you into the track straight away. The vocals then come sliding in with poise. The track is relatively slow moving, but offers up a sound that sounds like 20 year vets. The vocals are clean and easy to follow while the guitars star musically. I was just looking for something a bit faster to get the album going. “Tonight” is in the same category as the opener. It’s a slower tune with hard tunes and clean vocals. The track sounds great with a huge guitar solo and pounding drums all surrounding solid vocals. The vocals do have a little whining style to them which gets a little annoying, but not enough to skip the tune. “Take It To The Limit” begins slow again, but picks up the pace quickly. The guitars take off dragging the vocals along with them. The track it’s very loud, but moves faster than the others before it. The guitars are great once again and the drums hit just a bit faster. The song does hit a little lull section and in a track that is title “Take It To The Limit” I think that the track would be a bit wilder. Overall it still sounds good. “Insane” opens up with an acoustic guitar and crisp rough vocals. The track has a nice little groove going that will get you head moving. They do add in some electric guitars with an insane solo (no pun intended) which spices the track up some. Other than that the track it pretty slow, just marching along a step at a time. The tune is smooth if nothing else. “Save Me” is another slow moving tune with long drawn out vocals. The chorus opens up a little bit, but for the most part the song just marches along like the ones before it. There are solid tunes floating in the background and they make sure they add in a nice guitar solo, but they repeat the lyrics too much. “Take A Change” is a silky smooth track with vocals that make you forget about nearly everything. The opening music is powerful, but it smoothes out for the vocals. They again add in a nice little guitar solo that spices the track up. This one lasts longer than normal which really helps the track out. “Good Times” is another song that brings out the acoustic guitar. It’s a very slow and soft track that would slow a live show down to a very intimate setting. It has an okay lyrical set to go with the soft vocals. “Escape the Pain” again opens up brilliantly, but doesn’t stick with the aggressive music. They do come back with an aggressive guitar solo, but the rest of the time is seems like the vocals and lyrics are the main focus. The drums to get a little aggressive as well, but it only lasts like 8 seconds if that. “Better Place” opens up with a nice vibe and nearly keeps it. The vocals enter again and take over for the better part of the track. They really never open things up. “Dreamer” is a short instrumental that spreads roughly 2 minutes. It’s all guitars all the time. “Leave It All Behind,” “Set Me Free,” and “Memories” is more of the same slow pace that showcases the vocals. The three conclude the album just like it started and stayed the entire time. Overall the album isn’t bad, but it’s not going to blow you away. It has great lyrics and some killer guitar solos, but lacks energy and intensity. This is something that you would occasionally listen to as you pass the time. I feel that they have a little Alter Bridge to them in most of the tracks. The lyrics are written well and delivered with a simple and pure voice. I think that vocals need to ramp up some though and take a couple risks. The guitar solos are the stars of the album. The drums get into the act on a couple tracks. For me this album needed to open up some and I hope I hear that on their futures releases. More energy and intensity is needed and most of the time little passion is displayed too. I think they need some more time to develop. I feel the talent is there, they just need to let it out.


Rating: 6 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Take A Chance, Escape the Pain


Track List:

1.      The American Dream

2.      Tonight

3.      Take It To The Limit

4.      Insane

5.      Save Me

6.      Take A Change

7.      Good Times

8.      Escape the Pain

9.      Better Place

10.  Dreamer

11.  Leave It All Behind

12.  Set Me Free

13.  Memories


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