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SoundCloud Music Reviews: “Overdrive” By Cherry Dreams Nostalgic Music Review

SoundCloud Music Reviews: “Overdrive” By Cherry Dreams Nostalgic Music Review

“Overdrive” By Cherry Dreams Nostalgic Music Review

The age of rock has long since passed: from the upbeat tempos of the 50s, to the thought transcending beats of the 60s and 70s. By the time the 80s and 90s reached humanity, it was believed Rock n’ Roll was definitely dead, but thanks to rock innovators, legends, and gods, Rock n’ Roll refused to stay dead.

Immortal bands such as: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and beyond, helped fuel the virulent sounds of electric guitars, drums, and basses. And since then, Rock purged all other sounds from all corners of the earth evolving into multiple genres and subgenres that keep defining every generation, but one commonality that all genres share with each other, is the effect it brings to the human spirit.

To quote AC/DC, “For those about to rock, we salute you.”

While the name for this band evokes feelings of sentimentality and “soft hands,” Cherry Dreams is actually hard edged with a piquant essence of 80s nostalgia. Their opening song “Overdrive” stirs old feelings reminiscent of Deep Purple, Motley Crue, and unimaginative riffs of the 80s, but it is precisely those “unimaginative” riffs that make “Overdrive” an instantly catchy song.

Modern rock and roll strives so much to innovate and “re-imagine” the genre, but it often misses the mark and is soon after forgotten by the masses. It seems sometimes going back to the root is what could possibly make a rock song an overnight hit, something that will be remembered. This isn’t just a Cherry Dreams online rock music review; this is an elaborate, yet precise, inspection of a seemingly fledgling modern rock band that appears to know how to hit the right notes, figuratively speaking.

“Overdrive” is a song that could sell without doubt. 30 years ago, it would have been a bit more difficult, but this isn’t 30 years ago. Today, the song would simply catch the attention of anyone that lived through that epoch of rock and roll and inspire any young blood that live and breathe rock. That is a good thing.

The steady beat of the rhythm guitar anticipates the atmosphere of tone that will eventually lead to a strong chorus, but the lead guitar is simply… exquisite. The song’s licks are pleasing, their drums are a little predictable and simple at times, but they possess more than most contemporary rock songs.

It goes back to an old saying, “if it’s not broken, why fix it,” couldn’t be true enough. Sometimes simplicity is what makes success. The orchestration of the entire piece is simply sexy and energized which makes the song feel great to listen to without wanting to tear some ears off. The lyrics on the other hand, are god awful, contrived and corny, but rarely does something so bad could be something so good.

It is apparent that the lyrics are meant to be fun and loose without any other deep meaning like many songs today. It just is an easy song to understand with a catchy upbeat that can be mimicked with a subtle hum. Yes, it is clichéd and derivative, but that’s the reason it is beautifully crafted. “Overdrive” captures the spirit of a long forgotten sound that plainly hits the spot and simply “shifts my senses into overdrive” nostalgia.

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Full Bio:

In 2003, vocalist Michael Owens, guitarist Greg Learmonth and long time friend drummer Serafino Verardi started jamming. They were soon joined by former Sweet Lucy keyboard player James Todd. Collectively, they are primarily influenced by Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.

Although he was in choir at a very young age, Michael went to college and became an engineering technologist. After college, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in music so he moved to Calgary and began studying vocals at Royal Conservatory. While there, he also began private voice instruction from Van Louis, original lead singer of The Stampeders. Michael was in several bands over the years, mostly in Calgary and Toronto, and courted success on many occasions. While in Toronto, he also studied opera at the Canadian Vocal Academy. While working abroad from 1993 – 2000, Michael wasn’t able to actively participate in his music career. He started doing so again in 2003 when Cherry Dreams was formed.

Greg grew up in Calgary, AB and began his musical journey at age 6, starting with piano lessons. This continued for another 8 years at which point he completed his Royal Conservatory of Music exams achieving First Class honors. By this time though, Greg had already gotten the rock n roll bug and had began to pursue his real passion, which was the guitar. With a solid musical foundation, Greg taught himself to play the guitar, studying the masters of blues and rock, most notably Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore.

As a teenager Greg spent as much time as he could jamming with friends and anybody he met that that shared his passion for music. After high school Greg went to Toronto to study 2 years at the Trebas Institute of Recording Arts, learning about music production, sound engineering, music composition and a wide variety of other music industry essentials. After Trebas Greg would spend the next 4 years going back and forth from Toronto to Calgary playing and recording with various musicians. It was during this time that Greg had met a singer in Calgary named Michael Owens and formed a band called Wyldlife playing covers and recording original songs on Greg’s new 4 track recorder. This relationship would result in Cherry Dreams 25 years later.

After Wyldlife called it quits, Greg spent a few years trying to get something going, finally hooking up with some old friends, playing and recording mostly original music in a band called Goodstock which lasted a few years. It is also around this time that Greg began his career as a music instructor, teaching mostly guitar and bass guitar which he continues to do today, 15 years later. In around 2003 Greg and Mike reunited and worked at getting a band together. Soon they were joined by former Sweet Lucy keyboardist, Jamie Todd and the seeds for Cherry Dreams were sown. The seeds finally burst in 2014, when Cherry Dreams recorded their debut EP at Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto.

Michael first met James (Jamie) in 1988, when the band he was in toured in the rural Alberta town Michael was living in. Jamie was only 16 years old at the time, and playing in a Deep Purple tribute. Because of his age, he had to be escorted on and off the stage in the bars where he was playing. His band eventually changed their name to “Sweet Lucy”. who became one of the top touring cover bands in Western Canada from the late 80’s through the 90’s. He eventually was hired to play for Wide Mouth Mason.


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