By Cathy Moore of Moore Rock Shots & Reviews
I love the feeling of discovering a great new band and finding out it is from my home state of Ohio is even better. Black Coffee, from Columbus, OH, formed in early 2017 after drummer Tommy McCullough introduced singer/bassist, Ehab Omran, to guitarist Justin Young. Within the first few days, these three amazing artists began songwriting and the chemistry was overwhelmingly apparent. And now Ohio has another kick ass rock band to call its own.
Black Coffee’s debut album Take One hit the world on April 20th of this year and it is a phenomenal collection of real rock songs with generations of flavor all mixed together into nine tantalizing tunes. Take One presents a diverse selection of original music that draws inspiration from classic rock bands of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and fuses it with the root music of blues and rock n’ roll from the 40’s and 50’s. Dedicated to re-inventing modern rock music, Black Coffee parts the proverbial sea for the next generation of artists. It’s unique. It’s fresh. It’s fantastic.
The album kicks off with a 41-second slow, acoustic intro song called “Creamer” that crashes right into the first single, “I Barely Know Her”, which is a rebel rock song with a sexy swagger that makes you want to grind your hips and bang your head. The video, filmed at the Johnstown Opera House in Johnstown, OH, and directed and produced by John Payne of Payne Productions, gives us a glimpse into the animated energy Black Coffee brings to their performances.
“Hurricane” is an aggressive rock tune with lightning quick lyrics and raging guitar riffs all driven by McCullough’s fast and furious drumming. I can just imagine his arms flying trying to keep up with the tempo of this tune.
“The Traveler” shows the softer side of Black Coffee in a mostly acoustic ballad with impassioned lyrics that showcases Young’s acoustic guitar genius and Omran’s incredibly impassioned voice. It feels like warm syrup flowing over your senses. You just want to close your eyes and let all six minutes of this song seep into your soul.
“Psychedelic Red” picks things back up with a fast and catchy groove. Omran’s vocal range is really shown off in this song as he goes up some octaves in those sexy screams. Young’s guitar solo is nothing short of masterful. I think this is probably my favorite track on the whole cd (although it’s hard to choose just one).
To close out Take One, Black Coffee chose “Away” which is an absolutely brilliant song starting with about a minute of haunting instrumental perfection that crescendos into another couple minutes of a hot and heavy jam session. About a minute before the song ends Omran comes in to end the album with his vocal pyrotechnics. It is one of the hottest ways to end a cd that I’ve heard in a while.
Black Coffee combines superb musicianship with a high-energy performance that is refreshingly both vintage and groundbreaking. These guys are beyond impressive and they are going to take the world of rock and roll by storm. No doubt about it.
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