Released: 2006, Dedalo Sound
Usually when I receive a 3-song single/MCD it’s from a new band looking to make an impression with a demo before (hopefully) moving on to bigger and better things. That’s exactly what I expected when I opened TASTE THE RETURN by Italians Hocculta. After reading the bio though, it seems that the band has been around for over 20 years! In that time the released 2 albums: 1984’s WARNING GAMES, and BACK IN THE DARK four years later. I have no idea what they’ve been doing the intervening years, but apparently they’re back!
I don’t know if TASTE THE RETURN is supposed to signal some sort of return for the band or what (the bio is very brief and the website is in Italian), but whatever the case, it’s entertaining. The three songs on this release are apparently re-workings of 2 older songs, plus a cover of the Scorpions classic, “Blackout” – which is appropriate, because Hocculta bear a very similar sound to those Teutonic rockers. Lead singer Massimo Lodini is a dead wringer for Klaus Meine and the band’s style falls into the same metal/rock mix of classic Scorpions from the late ‘70s/early ‘80s.
Of the three songs, opener “Over the Desert” makes the strongest impression, being a catchy melodic rocker that would fit right in on LOVEDRIVE or BLACKOUT. The chorus on this one is absolutely infectious! “Dishonesty” is a heavier song, but not as catchy. Finally, the band’s cover of “Blackout” is good, but too true to the original to make much of an impact.
I don’t know what Hocculta hopes to accomplish with this disc, but whatever the case, it’s an entertaining, if brief, listen. Fans of melodic metal should keep an eye on this band to see where they go from here.