Friday, February 18, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 215: O Positive - toyboatToyBoatTOYBOAT

By: March

Album - toyboatToyBoAt TOYBOAT
Artist: O-Positive
Key Players - Dave Martin - guitar, vocal, keys, harmonica, saws??!, Alex Lob - drums. David Ingham - Bass, vocals, guitar, keys. Alan Petitti - guitar, piano, vocals, keys, cello, mandolin. Dave Herlihy - Lead Vocals, guitar, tambourine, Wrench

Produced By - Peter Walsh

Release Date - 1990

What caused me to blow off the dust? - When I worked in Boston radio we'd spin these guys from time to time (it was rare) but it always had me wondering "what if"? I bought the cd and haven't spent any time with it in a long while. So, here we go.

Overview This was the major label debut from Boston based "O Positive"

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
The album opens strongly with the track "Overflow". With strong rumbling drums and bass as the guitars chime over the top. Herlihy has a strong voice and pushes his emotions to the front. As the verses conclude each guitar gets a little more urgent. The drums are pushed high in the mix and the dark feeling of the verses is then met with some strong high vocal reaches on the chorus. It is not forced, but sounds perfect. Rather than a guitar solo there is a nice piano solo as Ingham and Lob hold things in place. A strong album opener. "Decide" is still a mid tempo track but it is awash with Petitti on mandolin. Herlihy is strong once more on the vocals and gets some help from the others. The mandolin gets a good work out near the end and the band joins in the fray. Lob gets the tempo up as "Kamikaze Dove" starts to take shape. The bass and guitars all swell and a bright acoustic guitar slices over and Martin gets to add to it with the harmonica. The guitars all seem to fight one another forming a nice wall of sound,while still remaining on task. Lob keeps everyone in check with the locked in drum beat. Local to Boston the track
"Imagine That" found some airplay. Another pretty sounding mid tempo track with nice harmonies from the band as no one instrument really seems to take over. Herlihy is really in fine form showing he is well capable of being a front man. There are musicians brought in for accordion on the track so that adds some nice fill (played by Sonny Barbato). The band sounds a little heavier on "Back of My Mind". We will have focused guitar bass and drum parts but the band seems more urgent on this one. Another very strong track giving you a good full band feel. For a strong a song as it is, the band chose to not print the lyrics to this track in the liner notes of the collection. "Innernational" has a different feel as the vocals are much more choppy, almost rapped, but not really. That makes no sense I know, but Herlihy seems to chant the lyrics. The bass and drums seem more 80's retro as well. It is a decent enough of a track, actually its cool the band tried something a little different. We also get a trumpet solo from Artie Barbato. He is so strong he gets to go twice. "On To Something" has a great urgent drum intro from Lob and the three guitars all get to ring out. One might cut to the point, a second rings over the top. It is a nice extended instrumental intro. Herlihy once again really pushes himself and the band follows suit. There are strings that bring up "Hope the Boat". Lob gets more attention on the drums again, but he is just higher in the mix, there is not a lot of flash to what he is doing. "Train Station Gone" is another strong example of the biting guitars and machine gun drums. The band has a few bars before they bear down and Herlihy gets underway. The band is in good spirits it seems as they play off one another trading guitar parts while Lob and Ingham continue to keep it all on task. The album concludes with "Holding On To You" a more acoustic sounding track with the accordion adding a lot to the sound. The band seems hesitant to come in to heavy and Herlihy is allowed to really show his vocal ability.

Where are they now? - The band released a follow up to this record in 1993 on an indie label. They'd play out some shows and decided that was enough. They surface from time to time (as a band called Toy Boat) or will appear for reunion and benefits. Herlihy has released a few solo records as well.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take - There are some really strong moments on the record. I hate to call the band soccer mom rock, but they are pretty safe, write catchy tunes and are talented. Is there anything wrong with that? Fans of bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Maroon 5, and Train can hear similar styles. I could be way off here, but I think many would agree.

Short Bio here and a band page here.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed.

Back of My Mind
Imagine That

The album is out of print but you can track it down, starting with the link here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 9:47 AM, Blogger JH said...

Awesome dust-off Dagwood!


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