With the success of Living Colour in the late '80s, you'd have thought that more all-black hard rock bands would have stormed the charts. For reasons unknown, this never materialized (although 24-7 Spyz, Fishbone, and Urban Dance Squad came close in the early '90s). Come 2005, there appears to be another hopeful act, Orange Sky, which hails from "the tropical island paradise" of Trinidad and Tobago. Picture Living Colour with more of a fondness for straight-ahead hard rock/heavy metal than funk, and you're not far off from the group's debut, Upstairs. Produced by Jeff Glixman (who has worked with everyone from Paul Stanley and Black Sabbath to the Allman Brothers and the Georgia Satellites), Upstairs proves to be a mixed bag of melodic hard rock. The album's best track, "Escape," features some unmistakably Iron Maiden-esque guitar work courtesy of the guitar tandem of Adam Murray and Nigel Rojas (the latter of whom is the group's chief songwriter and singer, and who possesses a voice akin to Blues Traveler's John Popper). There are also times where the quintet takes things down a notch, including "Peace Train," which features tropical sounds straight from their native land. And if the music weren't enough, the CD includes a bonus DVD, "Live in Trinidad."
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato