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Please forgive me with this review because I think I’ve come up against an album that has left me stuck on its merits! Blue Origin is the name of the band and the album in question is their debut release ‘Somnium’. Originating from Stoke On Trent they are a young five piece that have spent the past seven years playing any venue that would have them and refining their skills. They play modern hard rock with a definite retro feel and cite bands such as Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Motley Crue, Shinedown, Black Label Society and Led Zeppelin amongst their influences. When first listening to this, and I have listened a fair few times since, I was a little surprised at the heaviness. I think I was expecting a more alternative sound but that is certainly not the case. If I had to choose two bands that perhaps define their sound then it would be Skid Row and The Almighty but with a modern twist. They have some decent songs - ‘Sick’, ‘Blur The Lines’, ‘Scream’ and ‘Junkie’ being my favourites. There is some fairly good guitar work courtesy of Mike Hawkins and Josh Sutton, drumming from Thomas Eivers (although the hi-hat and cymbals sound a little compressed) and an excellent bass guitar from Danny Higgins, however there are a couple of ‘buts’ coming!

Firstly, the song quality is not consistent enough throughout the album. Several songs - ‘Godless’, ‘Take Your Pills’ and ‘Everything’ come across as just average to me, ‘(A) Wake’ is a pointless instrumental at the end of the album (that for some reason reminded me of a dumbed down version of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’, ‘The Exorcist’ bit) and the ballad ‘Make Me’ just doesn’t seem to go anywhere and is very generic. Now, I have a feeling that these songs could sound a lot better and this leads me to my second problem. Vocalist Nick Pilgrim certainly doesn’t have a bad voice but I’m not sure whether it always suits the music. His voice works best when he is belting out the tunes. At other times, his delivery does indeed come across as slightly ‘alternative’ and bland and this is when I immediately want a Myles Kennedy, Brent Smith (Shinedown) or Jay Buchanan (Rival Sons) to be at the microphone, giving the songs that little bit extra bump, grind and passion. This is only a debut though and a promising one but album number two will have to raise the bar.
The Animal Farm
Review by Rick Tilley
10th Dec 2012
1) Sick
2) Take Your Pills
3) Blur the Lines
4) Whatever Happened
5) Make Me
6) Everything
7) Scream
8) Godless
9) Junkie
10) Don't Hold On
11) (A) Wake
"This is only a debut...and a promising one but album number two will have to raise the bar."