California based melodic hard rock band Blue Plasma Orb (or BPO for short) has released a brand new album – the band’s second after their self-titled debut in 2014. It’s another terrific stack of tunes with hooky melodies, excellent vocals, and rock-solid musical craftsmanship.
Blue Plasma Orb was founded by guitarist Billy Bishop and vocalist/bass player Steve Bonino in 2013, and the band’s music has its roots of inspiration in the golden age of rock in the 1970s, but with a modern gloss and shine. The band quotes influences from bands like Deep Purple, AC/ DC, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, and Blue Oyster Cult.
Standout tracks on this new release include the first track ‘Heavy Time’ a catchy and upbeat rocker that is one of my favorite tunes on this album; the swinging and guitar-powered ‘Lost My Mind'; and the loose and fired-up ‘What Do You Want’ (another clear fave).
Throughout the album the quality of the musicianship and song-writing really stand out – everything is skillfully put together and delivered. The band’s founders Bishop and Bonino recruited Richard Bredice as lead guitarist for ‘Return’, and he injects some great energy and sparkling axe-power into every tune. Jimmy Keegan on drums and Martin Gerschwitz on keyboards also bring considerable energy and verve to the tunes.
Tracks like ‘Mary Jane’ – powered up by some fine keyboard work from Gerschwitz – also grab your attention; and the fast and fiery ‘Voodoo Girl’ is another highlight. The emotional ‘Forever’ is another keeper on ‘Return’, really showing off Bonino’s vocals and some terrific and inventive guitar-work as well.
Just like on their self-titled debut release, Blue Plasma Orb’s sound is refreshingly clean and strong. This is a band with a polished musical heart that doesn’t get lost in fussy production or splashy effects. At their best, BPO delivers shiny, smooth gems of melodic rock, with just the right amount of grit, sparkle, and power.
‘Return’ was released November 1, and is available from iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.