ORANGE SKY – Upstairs

ORANGE SKY - Upstairs


Granite Records
Release date: September 27, 2005

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Over the years there have been bands who have introduced elements of their cultural backgrounds into their music … such bands as Orphaned Land and Nuclear Valdez surface into memory. Orange Sky have just released such an album, entitled Upstairs. Whereas Orphaned Land reflect their Middle Eastern roots and Nuclear Valdez their Cuban background, Orange Sky have incorporated Caribbean influences into their sound. Hailing from Trinidad, Orange Sky have in their debut release, produced a spirited and soulful blend of their Caribbean origins with a more traditional Melodic Hard Rock sound.

Orange Sky is the brainchild of lead singer/guitarist and songwriter Nigel Rojas, who together with bassist brother, Nicholas, and fellow members Adam Murray (rhythm guitar), Richard Hall (keyboards), and Obasi Springer (drums), all of whom provide backing vocals, have signed to the fledgling Granite Records for the release of Upstairs.

Granite Records has recently been founded by Phil Ehart of Kansas fame with the aim of developing new promising acts. No doubt helped by the Kansas connection, Jeff Glixman (Kansas, Magnum, and Paul Stanley) came aboard to take on production duties. Glixman has succeeded in helping to create a lush, melodic soundscape, evoking images of summer days spent lazing by the sea sipping cocktails.

Album opener “It’s Over” sets the tone with its lilting, laid back acoustic introduction, which builds over the course of the verse, reaching the climax during the infectious chorus. Following hot on heels is “Escape,” with its Lizzy-esque guitar harmonies and riff-laden chorus and mid-section.

The main focal point on the album is Nigel Rojas, whose passionate, soulful vocals conjure images of Bob Marley and Eagle Eyed Cherry. Rojas brings the material to life with his expressive delivery and heartfelt phrasing.

“Tug of War” and “Angel” provide some of the album’s more rocking moments, which show that Orange Sky can mix it with the heavyweights.

Where Orange Sky really excels is where their cultural references are brought to the fore. The Reggae infused “Peace Train” (cover) and “Real Love” provide the album with a unique tone, which sets them apart from their peers.

Rojas is no slouch on the guitar either. The wah-wah soaked solos on “Dogs,” “Fallin’,” and the album closer, “Alive,” are a real joy to hear and should have any self-respecting air guitarist jumping out of their seats in admiration.

Orange Sky have sold over 10,000 copies of the CD in their homeland and been named as International Ambassadors by the Trinidad Ministry of Tourism. The release of Upstairs on the international market should see the profile of Orange Sky rise markedly.

In a world of plastic trend followers, it is refreshing to hear something a touch different played from the heart, and with this release, Orange Sky will surely be a name you will be hearing a lot more of in the future.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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