Ramrod - Jet Black

(CD 2019, 42:11, Black Widow Records BWR228)

The tracks:
  1- Don't Call Me Sunshine(3:41)
  2- Ares Call(3:03)
  3- Sorrow(4:51)
  4- Lion Queen(4:17)
  5- Glass Of Wine(5:40)
  6- Turning Bad(3:30)
  7- Bluesy Soul(4:45)
  8- Sweet Mel(4:03)
  9- Leda(7:58)

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Ramrod is an Italian band founded in 2013 by Martina Picaro (lead vocals) and her brother Marco Picaro (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, sitar, flute, backing vocals). In 2016 they released their first album First Fall. Now three years later we can welcome their follow up to this release. The named it Jet Black.

I wasn't familiar with the band at all I'll have to confess. But you can't know them all can you? But I am always in for some new music. After listening to the bands second musical effort it wasn't that difficult to describe their musical style. On the nine album tracks the band delivers a style which is a mix between blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock and progressive rock. Next to the siblings the band consists of Emanuele Elia (bass guitar), Adriano “Roll” Nolli (piano, organ, Moog) and Daniel Sapone (drums, percussions, backing vocals).

What comes to the foreground the most is the excellent voice of Martina. Her strong voice is rather bluesy and doesn't have any accent at all. Secondly the guitar playing of her brother is a strong asset, also his melodic playing on the flute.

As for the music on this album it is easy to say that the largest part of the album goes in the direction of blues rock and hard rock Sometimes reminding me of early Deep Purple tunes. Highlights in this style are most of all tracks such as Don't Call Me Sunshine, Ares Call, Lion Queen and Turning Bad.

But it doesn't mean that for lovers of progressive rock there is less to enjoy. The songs which contain flute and keyboard parts are the best ones to digest. A good examples is the ballad Bluesy Soul. Here you can hear beautiful acoustic guitar parts and a gentle flute solo are accompanied by some fine keyboard parts in the background. Another fine piece of music is Glass Of Wine. Here you can enjoy fine guitar parts mixed with organ and Moog parts. Or what about the final piece on the album, titled Leda. Another ballad on which the Moog gets a solo. A solo which and reminds me of the solo done on Magic Man by Heart in 1976. Also the sitar, electric guitar and flute get leading roles here. All wonderfully done by Marco.

The mix between blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock and progressive rock is without doubt the secret of Ramrod's sound! If you like all of those styles this release is certainly something to check out. I certainly enjoyed it, even if not everything was similar to the music I listen to on a daily basis!

*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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