David Ochrombel has a familiar story. He played in a number of bands and eventually decided to go solo. I totally understand that. In fact I have done the same thing. I’ll leave it at this. There are pros and cons to working solo as opposed to working with a group. Ochrombel solo efforts culminated into Great Walls which is a five song EP.
Ochrombel pretty much does everything on the EP besides play drums. His EP is fairly straightforward with palatable melodies backed by familiar instrumentation. He mixes elements of blues, rock and pop.
The EP opens with “East & West” which is a pretty somber song in a lot of ways. Atmospheric pads fill the air as he repeats the lines “last night I drank to forget”. I thought the drumming was great against the reverb laced guitar. Ochrombel has a pretty thick voice with different shades of emotion. I really enjoyed the opener overall and thought the songwriting was top notch
Up next is “Lolita” which has a slight blues feel to it and also has some prominent background vocals. “Hometown Dreams” was a highlight to my ears. The song is sparse and open making it feel quite nostalgic and melancholy. He sings “It’s a two edged sword These broken words What could have been?”. Ochrombel wisely picks up the vibe with another standout entitled “I Wish I Knew”. The instrumentation melds together very well on this track and also includes a pretty solid guitar solo.
He closes with “Coffee” which has a coming of age feel to it like everything is going to be ok. It’s certainly a closer and arguably the best song on the EP.
Great Walls deals with ubiquitous topics but a lot of it seems to be centered around a lost love. You don’t need to sift through ambiguity to understand that. The lyrics were straightforward to me. Great Walls is a very human sounding album with a good amount of emotional resonance. Not too shabby for a debut.
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