Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Buck Dharma-Flat Out 2011 Re-Issue

Rock Candy Records

Blue Öyster Cult are a band that needs no introduction. When your talking about the cream of the crop of American rock these guys are it. Whether you choose to call their sound rock, hard rock or even heavy metal these guys created some of the greatest music of all time. "Godzilla", "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Burnin' for You" are all classics and their influence can be traced to everyone from Metallica to The Minutemen. One of the main driving forces behind the band (and the man who penned those three classics) has been vocalist and guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser. "Flat Out" was first issued back in 1982. Taking a break from his main responsibilities with BÖC allowed "Buck" the opportunity to work on this cult solo-release. Interesting enough "Burnin' for You" was originally supposed to be on this album before Buck's BÖC band mates heard it. After begging him to use it with BÖC the end result proved to be a commercial smash. "Flat Out" though has proven to be a strong release even without the hit song and this 2011 re-issue does a great job of making this cult album sound better than ever! For "Flat Out" Donald enlisted members of not only BÖC but Foghat and Alice Cooper's original band to create a thoroughly enjoyable rock platter. "Born To Rock" is the album opener and was co-written by Neal Smith (the drummer for Alice Cooper's band at the time). I love the track as it is a smooth rock number. "That Summer Night" has a very BÖC vibe to it as does the dark-themed "Cold Wind"."Your Loving Heart" was released as a single (as was "Born To Rock") and even if it did fail to chart it could be argued that it is a semi-classic in it's own right. Along with the moving instrumental number "Anwar's Theme" and "Born To Rock" it is my favorite album cut. The re-issue of this album really packs a punch with it's nice booklet and improved sound. Really, other than the (at least in my mind) weak cover of the Fleetwood's tune "Come Softly to Me" there isn't any tracks that fail to move a part of me. As a solo release "Flat Out" works that fine line between the eerie charm and vibe of classic BÖC and early eighties FM rock. Sadly it received little notice upon it's initial release so hopefully this re-issue will open people up to the wonder of Buck Dharma.


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