Osukaru is a Swedish rock band which formed around 2010 with Starbound being album number six – not counting the independent release GBG2LA in 2010.
The band was formed by the guitarist Oz Hawe Petersson – also known as Oz Osukaru – and it appears that he has remained the constant in the band with other musicians being used as and when required. Indeed, it wasn’t until album number three, Transition, which Petersson himself actually started to consider Osukaru as a band and this also saw a harder edge being introduced to the band’s classy AOR sounds. A quick listen to the previous albums shows a band playing classic rock and AOR with elements of sleaze which helped to give a good time feel to the music but the hard rock side has been developing with each new release with 2018’s House Of Mirrors being an excellent hard rock album with great vocals and plenty of amazing guitar licks. It also helps having a little continuity in the musicians and the last couple of albums have shown Osukaru morphing into a real band with Petersson bringing in a couple of musicians who he has stuck with and this helps to give the band stability and a much broader and filled-out sound. Starbound continues on from where House Of Mirrors finished off and gives you the feeling that this album is the one, this is the sound that Petersson has been searching for throughout the bands career to date.
The team maintains the melodic AOR base but adds a little more power with just enough glam and glitz to remind of the past whilst taking a distinct step up in terms of song writing and delivery. The songs are sumptuous and sound superb due top quality musicianship but also an excellent production job too. Petersson again contributes guitar and keyboards and he really is on fire with his mazy runs and killer breaks and Frederick Werner again gives a commanding performance on vocals with his slick, controlled and powerful voice. He handles guitar duties too combining perfectly with Petersson and it is the guitar work throughout that really commands your attention. Bass and backing vocals are supplied by Olof Gadd and these three now appear to be the heart and soul of the band with drums courtesy of the intriguingly titled CD and there is some neat saxophone from Mark Holden of the band Boulevard too.
If you are into classy AOR bands with that little bit of extra power and want a flavour of bands like Ten, Dokken and Def Leppard then look no further than the latest release from this ever improving Swedish rock band.
- Starbound (3:29)
- Rise of the Underdog (3:40)
- Tainted Heart (3:40)
- Somewhere Sometime Somehow (4:25)
- Joker (In the House of Cards) (4:17)
- Go For the Legends (3:29)
- Shut It Out (3:01)
- On the Streets Again (4:20)
- Within the Depths of Love (3:51)
- All Up (3:58)