- 3. Cloud of Rain
- 5. Home
- 6. Gloom
- 7. Superstar
- 8. Martha
- 9. Street of Sin
- 10. Little World
- 11. Soleil
- 12. Maybe Baby
- 15. You
- 16. What I Want
- 17. Sleep
- 18. Loving You
- 19. Through
- 21. Winter Nite
It’s likely that for many, this “best of,” compiled from Blizzard’s six albums released between 2001 – 2011, will be the first chance to hear the band. Time Lapse is the right title for this album. While it certainly works as a standalone release, the albums twenty-one tracks covers a span of ten years, showing impressive growth from this indie quartet. Operating just under the radar for nearly a decade, Blizzard – essentially the duo of songwriters Christopher Leyva (guitar, vocals) and Gerardo Baladon (lead guitar, vocals), with for the first three albums, Adrian Ochiuzzi (drums) and Antonio Franko (bass), honed their sound and skills through relentless recording and touring that saw them make several road trips around the U.S. and open shows for a host of artists including Dramarama, Modern English, Tom Petty, Jet, Unwritten Law and many others.
Making the whole thing more remarkable, during the same timeframe, Leyva ran a label & pr firm, releasing four solo albums, while simultaneously booking venues. There has rarely been anyone as driven as Leyva. Dedicated to the concept of rock ‘n’ roll, he was raised in Mexico City, eventually making the move to the U.S. and becoming a mainstay of the West Coast music community, notably in Hollywood and San Diego, where he has been a multiple San Diego Music Award nominee.
Leyva has recorded many solo works and collaborated with numerous artists ranging from electronic pioneers Red Flag to power poppers, The Rembrandts, but perhaps one of the biggest influences is Jason Hill of Louis XIV who mentored Blizzard in both production and songwriting. Even the band’s name has a rock ‘n’ roll connection. Blizzard is perhaps the best description of their sound; loud, brash and with countless influences swirling in its midst. That it was bestowed upon them by none other than rock legend Tony Sheridan, at one of their first warm up dates, makes it just about perfect.
The journey began for Blizzard in 2001, their statement of intent, right there in their debut album’s title, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. But it was only a starting point. All the bands albums sound great – production by the afore mentioned Mr. Hill and others being uniformly top notch. But listening to the albums in sequence, it’s easy to hear a growing maturity, particularly in the lyrics, as well as wider cast net of influences. Nowhere is this clearer than on album #4, The Root of Evil (2004), which likely due to the departure of Ochiuzzi and Franko, embraces acoustic, folk and country, but follow-ups, Curve of Evolution (2005) and particularly, Road to Excess (2011), which uses numerous musicians around the core of Leyva and Baladon, also take their rock from a wider palette. It’s a denser more intense sound.
It all adds up to, Time Lapse, an album that both shows the growth of Blizzard as a band and serves as a terrific introduction to their music. Play it loud and play it often.
All songs written by Christopher Leyva except for “Little World” written by Leyva/Franko
Produced by Blizzard, Christopher Leyva, Steven Russell, Jason Hill
Published by RMN Music
Cover design by Rick Romano
Band line up:
Songs 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21
Christopher Leyva- voice and guitars
Gerardo Baladon – guitars
Adrian Ochiuzzi- drums
Antonyo Franko – bass
for songs 4, 11, 17
christopher Leyva, Gerardo Baladon, Mike Byron, Greg English, Jason Hill, Pablo Cantua, Billy Raphael, Todd newman, Soleil Kelley, Sebastian Reyes
for songs 6, 10, 13, 16
Recorded with Greg English on drums, Christopher Leyva on guitars and vocals, Gerardo Baladon on lead guitar and vocals and sebastian Reyes on bass most keys on this album were played by – Shaun Cornel
for songs 1, 2, 3, 5
Christopher Leyva: Vocals, guitar and some leads
Gerardo Baladon: vocals and lead guitar
Mike Byron: Drums
Sebastian Reyes: bass
Eddie Jason Coven: Keys and synths