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Oleander
JOYRIDE
(SANCTUARY)

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After scoring a modern-rock hit with "Why Iím Here," from their Universal debut, February Son, Oleander seemed destined to churn out little more than earnest, Nickelback-style power-chord fuzz indistinguishable from all the other angst-ridden shades of metal in the postĖCreed/Godsmack world. Instead, the Sacramento natives fell out of favor when their second Universal disc, Unwind, failed to score on radio, and that brought them to the smaller Sanctuary label and Joyride, a disc that sticks to the softer side of contemporary hard rock. The results on a track like the brooding "30 60 90" are in the vein of Alice in Chains, with singer Thomas Flowers doing a competent job of emoting without whining. "Leave It All Behind," on the other hand, seems aimed at recapturing the slow and low melancholy mood of "Why Iím Here." The unfortunate thing for Oleander is they got bum-rushed by an overabundance of like-minded rockers out of a genre that they helped create.

BY JONATHAN STERN

Issue Date: June 13 - 16, 2003
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