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On disc: On-Off

Ribcrasher - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(Pino Music - 2010)

The story of Italian band On-Off in a nutshell: The band was started back in 1998 by guitarist and singer Matteo Vago as a cover band, later become an AC/DC cover band (with a different singer) and then moved on to play their own songs, but they stick to their roots - and sometimes even play cover shows.
Ribcrasher is their debut and they kick it off with the same-title track. It's the first of 10 songs and 40+ minutes of blues-tinged boogie rock. It's simple riff-based rock which isn't sophisticated or artsy, but you can feel that they play the music they love. While bands like Airbourne try to sound more powerful, more metal, On-Off bring back the AC/DC sound of the early albums combined with some blues rock from the 50's / 60's. At Let Me Play My Stuff they present heavy riffs and leads spiced up with mouth organ. A highlight is Nasty Rhythm which could have been written by the Young brothers, but in advantage - in my opinion - are the vocals, while Brian Johnson vocals are kinda squeezed Matteo Vago sounds relaxed. Songs like Seven and Steamroller Blues are fun and even if this album isn't offering something new and innovative, it sounds fresh. If you like early AC/DC then you'll have a good time listening to Ribcrasher!
I confess that Airbourne and Big Balls released decent albums, but they bored me. But I enjoy On-Off. So if you like pub rock, then check out the Italians! I recommend: Nasty Rhythm, Let Me Play My Stuff and I'm A Shooter.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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