Rocking out to Ozma

Mon 1/8/2007

I'm still sick, which sucks pretty hard. I'm tired of hacking up phlegm and feeling like crap. The upside is that I have been trying to "take it easy" which so far has meant staying in my apartment and drawing A LOT.

My folks got me an iTunes gift card for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!) so I figured I'd get a new album to enhance my long hours at the drawing board. Through a variety of clicks I ended up at the Ozma page. The iTunes review and the user comments all pretty much said the same thing: that Ozma basically IS Weezer, though from the Blue Album days. The iTunes review even went as far as to say that their album Rock and Roll Part Three was "the best Weezer album to come out in 2001" which is a pretty hilarious dig, when you consider that Weezer's awful Green Album came out that same year.

So I downloaded the album and their next one, both of which I've been listening to pretty much non-stop for the last two days. At first I was like, "How have I never listened to this band???" (even though I've heard them live TWICE, opening for Weezer and The Rentals, about five years apart). It does sound a lot like Blue-Album-era Weezer, which is pretty awesome. Because of my affinity for that particular album (don't even get me started) I already like Ozma about 90% more than most other music I listen to.

But something about it is also really lacking. I mean, I'm not sure if this band SET OUT to sound like Weezer, but they have similar instrumentation (same effects pedals on the guitars, synthesizers, harmonized vocals, etc.) the mix on the tracks is the same, even the structure of the songs is very familiar. So you can't HELP but compare them to Weezer, which (for me) is pretty stiff competition.

What comes out of that comparison is that Ozma is just missing something (probably RIVERS). An Ozma song will be rocking along and then perfectly build up after a chorus to the part where the guitar solo should just EXPLODE, but then it totally falls flat with some run-of-the-mill, generic rock solo. A real Weezer guitar solo makes me have to stop what I'm doing, close my eyes, start playing air guitar and sing along. It raises the hair on the back of my neck! Then when the chorus kicks back it's like a freaking bomb exploding in your brain.

With Ozma it builds up and then the wind is just totally taken out of the sails, so the songs feel a little choppy to me. If you could somehow get Rivers to sit in on the guitar solos (and cover some of the vocals...) these could be some pretty epic albums.

I don't mean to badmouth the band. There is tons of rad stuff going on in these albums and people should totally check them out. On their second album they do a rock cover of the Tetris song (from Gameboy) which is amazing and on the first album there was this one song all about a girl the lead singer had a crush on, but he could never talk to her, and she probably would never hear this song and there was nothing he could ever do to meet her. I was liking the song a lot, so I got up to see what it was called... "NATALIE PORTMAN" Now THAT raised the hair on the back of my neck! :)

1 comment on this entry

just listen to rocks off of rock and roll part III. the solo in that song is so energized, i have to practically stand up everytime it plays. it is what made me fall in love with the band. also i think that the more you listen, the more you;'ll like it!

justin Jun04

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