Oleander - 2003 Joyride

ARTIST: Oleander
ALBUM: Joyride
LABEL: Sanctuary
YEAR: 2003

LINEUP: Thomas Flowers - vocals, guitars * Ric Ivanisevich - guitars * Doug Eldridge - bass * Scott Devours - drums

TRACK LISTING: Hands Off The Wheel * 02 Don't Break My Fall * 03 Fountain & Vine * 04 30 60 90 * 05 Rainy Day * 06 Off & On * 07 Better Luck Next Time * 08 Joyride * 09 King Of Good Intentions * 10 Leave It All Behind * 11 Runaway Train


Oleander have sold around 700,000 units in the USA since their debut album 'February Son' and new release 'Joyride' should cement their fan base even further.

In the same vein as Fuel, Incubus and perhaps even with shades of Stone Temple Pilots or Alice In Chains, 'Joyride' is crammed with dirty, intense and hard-hitting riffs and a surprising level of melody too.

The Songs

Opening track and first single 'Hands Off The Wheel', is the exact opposite to the sanitised rock of VonRay, with its thumping chorus and moody verse, while the aggressive 'Don't Break My Fall' continues the bruising aural assault in fine style.

The biting social comment of 'Fountain and Vine' slows things down impressively, and the intensity of guitarist Ric Ivanisevich's riffs complement Thomas Flowers' impassioned vocals to make it a contender for best track on the album. The explosive title track is simply one of the best rock songs I've heard in 2003, while the hypnotic and laid-back 'Rainy Day', offers a nice contrast to the dark vibe of 'King of Good Intentions' and the sheer power of 'Off And On'.

Just like on 'Unwind', Oleander close proceedings with an acoustic-based track, and 'Runaway Train' is a worthy successor to 'Champion' and could easily be a single if Sanctuary pushes for a commercial breakout track off the album.

In Summary

Put simply, if you're looking for an album of pure, unadulterated modern rock, then go on a 'Joyride'.

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