ARTIST: Oz Knozz
ALBUM: 10000 Days And Nights
LABEL: Ozz Knozz Music
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Milton De Coronado - lead vocals, keyboards * Duane Massey - lead and backing vocals, keyboards * Roberto Guinea - guitars, backing vocals * Bill Massey - bass * Marty Naul - drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Telephone * 02 Hear What I'm Saying * 03 You Can't Win * 04 Graven Image * 05 Hi Fi * 06 Midnight Mambo * 07 Who's The Hero * 08 SM Woman
According to the background of this album, the title is a playful reference to the amount of time it took to release this long overdue second effort after their debut first appeared way back in 1975! If it were me, I would've titled the album 'Long Time Between Drinks', but I'm guessing Americans won't get that bit of quirky British humor. So, who are Oz Knozz? These boys are a melodic progressive rock band from Houston, who's name is pronounced as 'Oz Ka-Nozz'. Their history goes way back in time to 1969. Goodness, man had just landed on the moon, and nearly forty years later this lot are still going strong. The band, though keeping their progressive origins true, were still influenced by the various sub-genres of rock over the decades - as their visual appearance suggests. Looking like early folkie prog rockers in one decade, to near hair metal contenders in the next. During the eighties, the band were promoted quite heavily by San Antonio DJ legend Joe Anthony, but during this time, the band didn't have any current product on the market. As mentioned, the band's first album 'Ruff Mix' was released back in May 1975, but Oz Knozz still commanded a great deal of respect, having toured and supported the likes of Supertramp
, Peter Frampton
, Point Blank
, and Judas Priest
. In addition, they have headlined many of their own shows, building an almost fanatical fan-base over the years. Even though many years have since passed, the members have stayed in touch, and decided to offload their ideas into the digital domain, hence this CD.
Each of the eight songs are separate bodies of work, with contrasting styles, and it surely is fascinating to hear what the band sound like many years after they were popular. The influences and reference points are mainly melodic prog. The obvious choices from back in their heyday would've been Yes
, but hearing these tracks, Oz Knozz sound much more modern, and I gotta say. .damn fantastic!! Merge Saga
, Shadow Circus
and Presto Ballet
together, and Oz Knozz will be the offspring. Funny though, the band tend to get more retro as you venture further into the album. 'Telephone'
is the first track, and is very keyboard laced. If you were listening to this for the first time, you'd be thinking this is sourced from the mid 80's, taking into account the song structure and style. Hear What I'm Saying
reminds me somewhat of Twenty Twenty
and a few CCM bands from that influential late 80's era. You Can't Win
is the obvious AOR/pomp moment on the album. I can't put a reference point, I'll leave it up to you guys to pin the tail on the donkey. Very commercial, radio oriented stuff. From here the album just keeps getting better!
The dual keyboardists bash out some hard ivories on 'Graven Image'
, staccato pomp all the way on this spectacular offering. 'Hi Fi'
is a harder rockin' affair with an array of keyboard effects through the first solo section. A rampaging guitar solo rounds out the second solo section.
Yep, it' an unusual name, but 'Midnight Mambo'
cuts some capers for the discerning 70's hard rock fan, being a slab of sassy retro rock with a blues edge. The vocals are delivered in real 'chest-beating' fashion.. you can just imagine a guy like Jim Dandy
belting this out. Many of our GDAZE readers into the hard rockin' 70's vibe will dig this track!
Atmospheric layers of synth precede 'Who's The Hero'
. Ambience abounds initially, before another 70's flavoured onslaught of rock takes over. It's not too dissimilar to the previous track, and at 6 min 24 sec, it's the longest track on the album. There's a load of organ, and the vocals have a David Byron
feel to them, suggesting that Uriah Heep
or fellow Texans Hobbit
may have been an influence for this band at some stage.
Closing the album is the fun-time romp of 'SM Woman'
. Again, it's 70's flavour to the core, with a few twists and turns. It bears all the hallmarks of a southern boogie number, but the middle section (with a vocal/choir piece reminiscent of Queen
) kills that notion in one foul swoop. The guitar solo is run through what be must a Wah/Fuzzbox system. The track is currently on repeat play for me!
This CD will come as a great surprise to many. Proggie fans and AORsters will equally enjoy what is on offer. The production is classy, and brings to life many of the arrangements. Oz Knozz truly represent what this site is all about - excellent long lost melodic hard rock with a variety of styles that touch nearly all the sides of this website. Stunning stuff! I am lost for words - where have these guys been all these years?
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