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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Off The Edge - 2002 Unfinished Business
Off The Edge - 2002 Unfinished Business

ARTIST: Off The Edge
ALBUM: Unfinished Business
LABEL: Off The Edge Records
YEAR: 2002


LINEUP: Peter Hanmer - guitars, keyboards * Tony Groenewald - bass * Giselle Mynhardt - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Riff Valley (instr) * 02 Hold On * 03 Cry For Help * 04 Alone * 05 Guiding Light (instr) * 06 No More Distance * 07 Free Flight (instr) * 08 Remember September * 09 Unfinished Business Part 1 (instr) * 10 Higher Ground * 11 The Lies Behind Your Eyes * 12 Still Want You Back * 13 Unfinished Business Part 2 (instr)


Having been a South African AOR institution as early as their debut in 1983, Off The Edge have survived much music industry indifference, a near permanent breakup and lineup changes to bring you their fourth studio album 'Unfinished Business', a disc two years in the making and well worth an examination here at G-DAZE.

The Songs
'Riff Valley' kicks off the album in instrumental fashion, coming across like Axe or 'Megaforce' era 707, a virtual catalogue of riffs for the AOR at heart with fluid solos not unlike Neal Schon. 'Hold On' ushers in new vocalist Giselle Mynhardt, wrapping her warm and powerful voice around a midtempo anthem celebrating the virtues of resilience - an essential trait for AOR practitioners these days. 'Cry For Help' is even better, a punchy 4/4 backbeat overlaid with melodies straight out of 'Passionworks' era Heart and a chorus worthy of any period AOR classic. 'Alone' tugs out the gentle side of the band, gradually building into a power ballad of epic proportions. 'Guiding Light' crosses classic Saga with modern day Joe Satriani for an instrumental piece that exists in it's own sonic dimension, taking you on a ride through various textures and setting you gently back down in time for 'No More Distance', another AOR anthem caught somewhere between classic 80's Heart and Broke [N] Blue.. not a bad place to be. 'Free Flight' returns to the instrumental format, this time more laid back but not lacking in stature. 'Remember September' takes shape as a semi acoustic vocal tour de force for Giselle, at times reminiscent of the fabled Renaissance despite the electric riffing eventuating through the latter half. 'Unfinished Business Part 1' ventures into more bluesy instrumental territory not unlike Tony Joe White or even Gary Moore, proving that versatility needn't result in a dip in quality. After a protracted gentle verse 'Higher Ground' launches into the kind of power ballad chorus found on Heart's 'Brigade' lp, and never looks back - there really is no substitute for well crafted melodic rock. 'The Lies Behind Your Eyes' restores some balance through it's uptempo nature, melodic as always - try imagining Thrills with female vocals and you're getting there. 'Still Want You Back' applies some Gary Moore-esque blues to the ballad format to rewarding effect, while the album closes with a cool jazz/light fusion reprise of 'Unfinished Business', this one being Part 2.

In Summary
It seems very likely that Off The Edge will return to live performing at long last, which will be a treat for South African AOR fanatics - the rest of the world can be consoled by obtaining this essential disc from the website below. Then again, air travel to South Africa is very affordable.

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#1 | swazi on January 30 2012 09:17:38
Great release by OTE, and their next one "Site under Construction" is even better, imho. It features Clint Cunningham on vocals and he is awesome, let me tell you.
Btw., should you want to purchase a CD do not follow the shop link on their website, because it leads into nirvana. Better to contact Peter Hanmer directly under
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