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Dharma, Buck: Flat Out (reissue)

Here's the rare solo album from Blue Oyster Cult lead guitarist/vocalist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, reissued courtesy of Wounded Bird Records (who else?) Originally released in 1982, this rocking set will no doubt appeal to all BOC fans, as well as lovers of commercial guitar music. Comprised of 9 songs, one of which is instrumental, this set showcases Buck's songwriting skills, not to mention his melodic vocals. Oh yeah, the man can play a mean guitar as well.

"Born to Rock" is a crunchy rocker that just screams "early 80's hard rock anthem", complete with catchy lyrics and wild pyrotechnic guitar solos from Buck. On "That Summer Night" the guitarist mixes catchy hooks, alluring arrangements, and stinging guitar work for a truly memorable track, and one that could easily have found a home on any BOC album. Shades of the Alan Parsons Project ring on the lengthy "Your Loving Heart", a song Buck wrote with wife Sandy. This piece is easily the most progressive piece in the set, and very futuristic sounding with walls of keyboards and an epic guitar solo from the master, sounding a bit like David Gilmour. Other highlights include the "put down the sun-roof and drive" rocker "Five Thirty Five", the Todd Rundgren-influenced a cappella of "Wind Weather and Storm", the Utopia drenched techno-pop of "All Tied Up", and the soaring instrumental "Anwar's Theme." The latter lets Buck really rip, showing off his tasty licks and keen sense of melody.

While some might expect a solo album from Buck Dharma to be a rocking shred fest, this platter is really all about fun tunes, backed up by some serious guitar. It's a shame that this album never really caught on with the general public in 1982, as there's a batch of songs that could have been radio hits for sure. Flat Out is an essential purchase for BOC and guitar fans alike, as well as anyone who loves quality melodic hard rock.

Added: November 11th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Wounded Bird Records
Hits: 2363
Language: english

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