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World Music CD Reviews Europe

OYSTERBAND

By JAMES RODGERS
Published May 30, 2005

Rise Above
Omnium

Oysterband knows how to write concise, catchy rock songs blending British and Celtic traditional influences with American rock and roll. With Rise Above the band cuts away excess and unneeded flourishes, leaving 10 classics clocking in under 40 minutes. From the melancholy wistfulness of “Everybody’s Leaving Home” to the tongue-in-cheek humor of “If You Can’t Be Good” to the anthemic sing-along of the title track, these five guys do more with guitar, drums, fiddle, accordion and piano than should be expected. But it’s John Jones’ muscled vocals and the songs’ hook-filled lyrics truly making Oysterband shine. To show their lack filler, they shortened their name from the Oyster Band to Oysterband. It’s a quick listen, but when this good, it’s not a complaint to want more.