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Oz Knozz "True Believer", self produced 4/5

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Band Site: http://www.ozknozz.com

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In a way Oz Knozz reminds me of the old Schlotzsky's commercial – “funny name, serious sandwich”. Not that the last album production was bad but this one is downright impressive thanks to having Brian Baker on board as engineer. Just as on “10,000 days and nights”, Oz Knozz delivers somewhat formulaic power prog rock, maybe with this one having a bit more commercial appeal as it seems to be geared more towards mainstream audiences. I am perfectly fine with that as the prog rock genre can get quite self-indulgent . There are some very 70s moments, like the song "Far Away" with an opening that could easily be on a Foreigner album. All of the guys in the band are no slouches - “True Believer” features great performances by all. Marty Naul kills on drums, and the drum sound is nothing short of amazing. Duane Massey (keys) and Robert Guinea (lead guitar) trade searing leads, while Bill Massey holds the foundation, opens up with jazzy feel in places and locks in effortlessly on the groove with Marty. Milton Coronado's masterful vocal performance shines in every respect well beyond what is usually seen at the local level. When it comes to the compositions, I found some of the material to be too derivative of 70s and 80s music, but if that is your thing, they do it well. The lyrics at times also got somewhat cliche. Duane Massey handles all the songwriting as he did on the last album and again I have to say that in places it wouldn't hurt to have an extra writer or two in order to inject a more original vision. Overall, an exceptional band but compositions, especially lyric writing could use a bit of a touchup.

Reviewed by A. Dorian

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