Review - February Son

Artist: Oleander

Oleander's second album is an angel sent to alleviate modern rock's decadelong plunge into angst and disillusion. Not only do they not sound like Third Eye Blind or any band that will be featured on "Dawson's Creek" this season, but their distinctive hard-edged sound coupled with brutally honest lyrics make the entire CD a winning effort. Singer and songwriter Thomas Flowers explores real-life issues such as poverty, insecurity, being true to one's self, fear of commitment and fear of the unknown.

"Why I'm Here" is a sincere tale with pulsating guitar riffs that pluck at both conscience and soul. The track oscillates from complacent beats and soothing vocals to powerful drumming and commanding bellows. "How Could I?" is a surreal ballad that retains its rock edge, and the band throws in a cover of the Cure's "Boys Don't Cry" for good measure. "February Son" is a soul-searching journey that takes some head-banging detours along the way.

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