The Last Neanderthal by Ogre was originally released in 2014 on CD, but you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a lost ‘70s hard rock relic. The album has a dynamic flow, with lengthy rock epics giving way to shorter, catchier songs. The original album was too long to fit on to a single LP as the band wanted to keep the fidelity to an optimum, so this limited edition orange vinyl LP comes with a bonus blue vinyl 7” single featuring the original album track Soulless Woman. The 7" is backed with a cover of The Bags’ Naked Lady, an Ogre favourite which serves a fitting bonus track.
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From what I can discern this is some sort of hard rock album from the caveman era, which is impressive because I don’t think they had electric guitars then, or any collaborative skills, nor any idea of how to make badass stoner metal. Ogre were clearly ahead of their time. ‘The Last Neanderthal’ is actually a year old, but same difference; the band would be happy to know that it sounds as archaic as all ‘70s bands it rips off. Too long to be one LP, they expanded their questionable sounds into a spare 7” of further adventures in woozy guitar solos, extravagant vocal grandstanding and slow, punching drums.
It all sounds very mean, but let’s talk about the vocals. They are quite ridiculous: lethargically, they spread their way over the album, moving in pitch at the click of a finger for unbearably high squeals and low grimaces. I haven’t listened to much hard rock in my soft life, but I’m pretty sure these vocals are exactly what you’re looking for in your gruesomely funny anti-power ballads.
Ogre do hard rock a great deal better than your average revisionist -- they’re no Wolfmother (remember those dudes?), in that they sound dedicated to the traditions and even engineer their record to sound of its chosen time. When the riffs are good (yo, choice moments of “Warpath”) they forgive the record’s vocal misgivings and accidentally trite vibe. Overall, this sounds like that thing that used to happen in the ‘70s.
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- The Last Neanderthal by OGRE
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