Truth or Dare is the blazing new solo debut from guitarist Johnny O’Neil, co-founder and main- stay of the Minnesota legendary hard rock band Dare Force. It’s muscular, guitar-driven rock with a powerful foundation supplied by drummer Joachim Baecker, as well as a guest appearance by UFO’s original keyboardist Danny Peyronel. Both O’Neil and Baecker are no strangers to the Midwest music scene and have finally joined forces to lay down a new set of refreshing rock & roll. Engineer and co-producer Brian Bart (a Midwest legend in his own right and co-founder of Dare Force along with O’Neil) has delivered a crisp, clean recording that fully captures O’Neil’s blistering guitar work.
2021 is a time of awareness of the good and bad around us especially in regards to a litany of issues that previous generations shied away from openly discussing, and in that spirit, Johnny O’Neil presents us with his thought-provoking new single “Snake In The Grass”, a single that owes as much to the era that inspired it as it does the kind heart of the songwriter behind its luster.
Johnny won’t remain an underground treasure for very long – as I see it, the bright lights of stardom are beckoning his name even as I write this article now.
His vocal is as physical as this bassline is, and though the two duel for our attention during the chorus, the rest of the song sees them playing in perfect harmony together, and moreover, yielding a melodic undertow in the rhythm that is essential to the track’s magnetizing quality.
The tempo is spaced out between the singing and the string instrumentation in the background, creating a bit of discord in the groove, but in the song’s climax, every element amalgamates and becomes a singular tour de force that any critic will tell you is more than worth writing home about.
The guitar parts are gentle and rather delicate at the onset but they’re extremely textured and full of the same panache and emotion that the lyrics are as we progress through the track.
This master mix is one of the best examples of proper high definition distributing that you’re going to hear this month and had you told me that Johnny was working with a major label budget instead of operating left of the dial, I would have easily believed you without question.
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