Oak were the New Hampshire band that released two major label albums but unfortunately did not live up to their album title.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Set The Night On Fire
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Rick Pinette – lead vocals, guitar, piano * Scott Weatherspoon – lead guitar, vocals * David Stone – keyboards, vocals * Danny Caron – drums * John Foster – bass, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Story For You/Nothing To Lose * 02 Set The Night On Fire * 03 She’s An 11 * 04 Only A Rumour * 05 Melissa * 06 Seeing Is Believing * 07 I Lied * 08 Off The Record * 09 Your Love * 10 Before I Met You
Recently, the debut Oak album was reviewed here at Glory Daze. It seemed appropriate to complete the Oak picture by adding their second and last album ‘Set The Night On Fire’ to the mix. The earlier review written by Eric threw comparisons to Styx, Tycoon and Alexis. Those were all 70’s outfits much respected at this site, and that comparison is maintained for this second set from this New England based outfit.
Oak had been floating around the New Hampshire scene for many years, as the history books would show. 1969 was their first incarnation, but through a series of false starts, break ups and reformations, the band finally got serious in 1974. The catalyst for the band was Rick Pinette, the other members joining on during the late 70’s. The 1979 debut album featured George Borden Jnr on bass, but by the time this album rolled around, John Foster had joined on, taking care of the four-string duties.
Various snippet reports/reviews of this album that I’ve seen on the Internet suggest that this album lacked the fire and class of the debut, and also that their live performances were much better than the studio efforts represented here. However, for most lovers of 70’s classic rock, you should get a kick out of a few of these tracks.
Opening out with the two piece ‘Story For You/Nothing To Lose’, the intro is a delicate piano driven pop piece with British pop inclinations, it segues directly into ‘Nothing To Lose’ which retains that British feel, but converting to a mild form of pop/bar room boogie.
The mellow vibes of the title track will please fans of Firefall, for sure. Third track in ‘She’ An 11′ has a acoustic/electric delivery similar to Couchois, whereas ‘Only A Rumour’ straddles the power pop/new wave fence, with a insistent synth line coming through on top of some unusual vocal flavours for colour.
Oak deliver an acoustic ballad with ‘Melissa’, and by now, the band are intent on providing us with lighter musical fare, such as ‘Seeing Is Believing’. Thankfully, they lift for a couple of better moments such as the guitar driven ‘I Lied’ and the excellent punchy ‘Your Love’.
Unlike the album title, Oak did not unfortunately ‘set the night on fire’. By 1981, the band were no more, instead, main man Pinette went out on his own under the title of the Rick Pinette Band. Despite their history within the New England scene and the fact that they released two major label albums, Oak were still pretty much an unknown quantity. It’s good to give them recognition on these Glory Daze pages.