Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...
Off The Edge is not the typical AOR / Melodic Rock band, nor their style, nor their origin.
Formed in South Africa from the ashes of the local metal band 'Boss' by multi-instumentalist Peter Hanmer and bass player Tony Groenewald, featuring female vocals and guest musicians to complete the line-up.
The band started to play in the early eighties, their first album (self-titled 1983) was a pretty good AOR/Pomp based song collection, but ain't was until 1998 that they went into studio to record the follow up 'On The Run'.
It sold enough copies to pay for the next album: 'Just Another Band'.
In Peter Hanmer own words:
"The CD is entitled 'Just Another Band' and reflects the way that this type of music is regarded in South Africa (this is definitely not the place to be for melodic rock, we're just another band). It consists of seven vocal tracks and three instrumentals.
The instrumentals were influenced by bands such as CAMEL, ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, etc. while the seven vocal tracks were all sung by our new vocalist Judy Marshall-Schutte, and range from BOSTON influences to RTZ, SANTANA, TREVOR RABIN, WITNESS, VENUS AND MARS, etc."
The band has a personal style, without record label commitments, pressures or market targets, recording, producing and releasing their albums independently, so they let the music flow at their own pleasure.
The album opens with 'Addiction', a heavily influenced APP instrumental that quickly leads into 'Do You Believe' which is a catchy pop-rock track.
Next up is 'Cheating', a modern Santana-style tune with nice guitar.
Things slow down a little in the calmer lite-AOR songs 'Don't Play Games' and 'In My Heart', a sweet ballad featuring the soulful piano-playing of Tony Groenewald.
'Face In The Crowd' is a bouncy uptempo AOR rocker with a catchy chorus and a great riffing from Peter. The best album song in my opinion.
Both instrumentals 'Ovation' and 'Blueprint' are the highlights of this recording, inspired landscapes plenty of good ideas, and beautiful playing.
'St. Aidans' is a nine minute epic, which is about a beautiful church in Grahamstown, South Africa. Peter: 'There is a statue of an angel outside the church that overlooks the church. At night the statue casts a shadow through the stained glass windows onto the walls inside the church. This song tells the whole story.'
This track wouldn't be out of place on any of Alan Parsons conceptual albums. Another highlight.
I am not completely convinced with the new vocalist Judy Marshall-Schutte, but the quality of the songs, the excellent production and the general concept, worth to give 'Just Another Band' repeated listens.
Recorded & produced at Foxglove Sound Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa by Peter Hanmer between April 1999 and March 2000.
Out of print CD.
1. Addiction (instrumental) [3.09]
2. Do You Believe [4.38]
3. Cheating [3.50]
4. Don't Play Games [3.51]
5. In My Heart [5.26]
6. Face In The Crowd [4.34]
7. Creatures Of Mood [4.25]
8. Ovation (instrumental) [7.54]
9. Blueprint (instrumental) [4.14]
10. St. Aidans [9.08]
Peter Hanmer: guitars, keyboards, programming
Tony Groenewald: bass, piano on 'In My Heart'
Judy Marshall-Schutte: vocals
and some guest musicians...
RARE & UNKNOWN