Ocean Hills – Santa Monica
AFM Records release: 27.11.2020
Wow, such a fantastic track like “Bound” raises expectations, and yes, Ocean Hills have actually put here an album full of rock / hard rock / AOR / Sleaze hits. That’s usually not quite my cup of tea, but just this first song captivated me immediately. The leader of this band is vocalist Zoli Teglas (ex-Ignite). Born into a working class Hungarian family, he is a dedicated animal rights / rescue activist, and a Hollywood actor with supporting roles in “Terminator: Dark Fate” and “The Alienist” under his belt. With his 30 years’ worth of experience in the music business, he launched a project close to his heart, Ocean Hills. Peter Lukacs (guitar), Daniel Szebenyi (keyboard, bass) and Reinder Oldenburger (guitar) complete the line-up; Bush guitarist Chris Traynor also joined in on the opening song. You can hear that this debut is not made by beginners.
What’s captivating at once is the clear and clean sound, just like you imagine a working class rock’n’roll band. Sleaze guitars as if by Slash himself, harmonies, catchy melodies and also small surprising twists – for example in the last quarter of “Budapest My Love” – elevate the song material above the average. Ear candy at its best.
Some of the softer tracks could be in the pop section (“Like A Lady”, “Hold Me”, ), but still are rough enough to qualify as rock’n’roll ballad. It’s just a pity that about the half of the album is focused on softer sounds . Between the “Vampire” or “Christina”, “Angels Wings” provides some heavy Stoner Rock riffs, yet “There’s a light” has again a tender feeling. Ok, it’s all nice, catchy and melodic, in my opinion those guys could have freed their rude R’n’R animals more often. Nevertheless, an absolutely successful debut, you should check it out.