Monday, 12 February 2018

Ozzie "The Parabolic Rock: 1975 - 1982" California Proto Punk,Prog Punk ,Art Punk


Ozzie  "The Parabolic Rock: 1975 - 1982".. killer California Proto Punk,Prog Punk ,Art Punk
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OZZIE-The Parabolic Rock: 1975-1982 Double LP is an incredibly dynamic and enjoyable time capsule of a band that most definitely fits the term “underground”. Coming out of the cauldron of mid-70’s California, OZZIE has that singularly undefinable sound of other “weirdo” bands residing in California during the era such as Zolar X, Christ Child, Puke, Spit And Guts, Chainsaw, Vox Pop, Flesh Eaters, 45 Grave, Venus & The Razorblades, as well as non-California groups like The Bizarros (from Akron, OH), Hounds (from Chicago), Debris-“Static Disposal” LP (from Oklahoma), Simply Saucer (from Canada), etc. OZZIE also were in touch with the sounds of fellow California power-pop/punk groups (whom in many cases they shared the stage with) like The Dickies, The Nerves, The Pop, The Quick, as well as The Nuns and Crime. 

So basically what we’re dealing with were a bunch of quite competent musicians who grew up on the edgier sounds of the early 70’s, from The Stooges to Roxy Music to Hawkwind to The New York Dolls to Krautrock groups like Can or Amon Duul II, as well as FM radio stalwarts like Zeppelin, Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Kiss, etc. So like so many of the other diverse groups which made up the very early LA and San Fran punk “scenes” circa ‘76-'77, OZZIE really had no preconceptions of what a “punk” band should sound like or dress, they simply delivered their brand of music in its purest form. Luckily, OZZIE weren’t just competent musicians but also fine songwriters with an excellent grasp of humorous social satire and no-holds barred lyricism. From the sci-fi/power-pop magic of “Android Love” to the straight up proto-punk of “Child Of The Reich”, to the brilliant, near epic prog/punk of “Old Fart From Arcturus”, to the weird keyboard/guitar maze of the relatively straight forward rock of “Faunamania” (a tune about the wonders of psychedelic plants), to the slyly deceptive lyrics of “I’m So Stupid” in which OZZIE seemingly lampoon the subject of too many punk songs about being bored, and in the process create a killer KBD style punk tune of their own, to the flat out brilliant “Shattered Values”, OZZIE’s lyrics are always a blast and of high caliber. And musically the band had so much to offer (outstanding guitar and keyboards just to name two assets) playing within the realms of punk, power-pop, new wave, garage rock, progressive rock, hard rock (even a few tinges of proto-metal), etc., all the while interchanging these differing styles (often in the course of one tune, but never sounding too eclectic) to achieve maximum effect: in this case a band that for those of us who love 70’s underground rock (of whatever stripe), a band that were never boring, had a true sound of their own, and yet are like a buffet of all the great sounds which were being born, refined, deconstructed, reconstructed, pushed to the limit, etc. throughout the 70’s (and even mid-late 60’s) which resulted in the American punk rock scene, the explosion of high quality power-pop, the subtle shifts to post-punk, quality new wave, indie rock, etc. 

I don’t think it’s in any way derogatory to state that OZZIE were very much a product and part of their time. But due to their sheer willingness to explore multiple stylizations and their obvious love for music in general they were able to tap into the spirit of the “new wave” (a term which circa '75-'76 rock journalists were using to the max to refer to the disparate rumblings of high energy, no B.S. garage bands in LA, SF, Boston, Cleveland, even NYC), participate in the nascent DIY scene, and in the process create a cache of music (handily compiled on this awesome 2LP compilation The Parabolic Rock: 1975-1982, which also features extensive info on the band) which sounds just as energetically fresh and boundary busting as it must have to those lucky few who saw OZZIE live during the Southern Cal. punk rock explosion. Sadly, I don’t think that even with such amazing potential singles as “Android Love” that OZZIE were ever destined to receive the attention they deserved. They just had a habit of doing their own thing to such an extent that like The Flesh Eaters’ Forever Came Today & Hard Road To Follow LP’s, success on a large scale just wasn’t in the cards. Which in a way is kind of the way it should be…OZZIE are for those of us record collector fanatics and music freaks who seek the lost gems in the proverbial haystack. Thankfully, this 2LP set allows us a chance to experience a band whose mission was pure, unaltered by the quickly changing musical environment in the California DIY scene of the mid-late 70’s. They just did their thing…in a simply masterful way. Damn these guys were rad!!!!…by… T. Kasuboski….~


It is easy to see why the Sacramento rock band Ozzie got lost in the shuffle in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were from Sacramento, California, which is not typically recognized as one of the hotbeds of subversive rock music. Their moniker, Ozzie, might have been confused with that other famous OZZY, the one that was, at the time, Black Sabbath’s lead singer. It is also hard to define them musically. I have a feeling that if they were from England, they would have been dubbed a “pub rock” band because of their versatility and their unwillingness to adhere to just one brand of rock music. Also, their quirky sense of humor rarely misfires, but it hardly ever lands either. 

If one were to only hear “Android Love,” the A-side to their one single (backed by mostly instrumental “Organic Gardening”), released in 1977, they would be unsure why critical or commercial success eluded them. The driving track is relentlessly catchy and possesses a provocative lyric–especially for 1977–about love between man and machine. In an alternate world, this song be talked about with the same reverence held for contemporary numbers like the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.,” the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” X-Ray Spex’ “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” or Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ “Blank Generation.” With only one other EP credited to the band during their tenure, the bulk of the posthumous collection The Parabolic Rock: 1975-1982 consists of unreleased studio takes and demos. 

The band is technically proficient, which allows them to flirt with a variety of styles. Tracks like “Android Love” and the bizarre “Child of the Reich” are glam-inspired numbers comparable to pre-Manifesto Roxy Music. There are prog-rock tendencies on display as well, especially on the aforementioned “Child of the Reich” and the overly long epic “The Ballad of Jack Ruby.” Tracks like “Wall,” “Faunamania,” and “I Love a Tank” are firm new wave numbers. Rockers like “Cookies Rundgren,” “Kung Fu Karate Man,” and “Terror in the Streets” (which has a riff that Poison sounds like it must have nicked when they wrote “Talk Dirty to Me”) obviously show the strong influence of Todd Rundgren. Because they never really settle into one sound, they can come across as dilettantes. The fact that they opened for bands like the Talking Heads and The Nerves makes sense. But it is also easy to understand why they only opened, and never headlined these gigs. 

Still, S-S Records has done a great job with this two-record set. Though clearly drawing off less-than-pristine tapes (and a direct vinyl transfer in the case of the “Android Love” single), the records still manage to sound great. The liner notes provide an extensive history of the group and do an excellent job of shaping the context for how Ozzie arrived at their sound. Because of the somewhat steep price tag for this set (around $20-25), I would recommend it to fans of obscure 70s rock, proto-punk, and proto-new wave. While an uneven collection, it is always fun, and the band is tight. The Parabolic Years does make a mildly convincing what if? argument about their place in rock history….by….yerblues 


Promo write-up: 
SSR Records: This double album vinyl release features 24 songs covering the career of one of Sacramento’s most iconoclastic eclectic obscurantist proto-punk-art-rock bands (and, yes, I know that’s too many mouth mumbling words). 

From their ground-breaking rock opera, Berlin 1990 to their historic opening for The Talking Heads to their years in Los Angeles, competing for attention with spandexed hair-bands and mohawked poseurs, The Parabolic Rock tells the story of a Sacramento band’s eccentric adventures on the blurred periphery of obscurity and cult status. 

It is 1971 in a small town near Santa Cruz, California. Three friends from Sacramento have just polished off a bottle of cheap wine to the sounds of Captain Beefheart’s Strictly Personal and wander on to the beach with a couple of harmonica and a guitar. For the next couple of hours, they howl out some Beefheart inspired blues yuck. Thus begins a musical relationship that would become the band Ozzie. From their wine-soused, Magic Band obsessed roots to their art-rock/new wave end some ten years later, Ozzie made some fantastic music. They built up substantial followings in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. They were a Mabuhay Gardens regular, sharing the bill with bands like the Weirdos, The Sleepers, VOM, and the Nuns. In Sacramento, they played with everyone from the Rutabaga Boogie Band and the Talking Heads to the Nerves and the Fleshtones. However like many bands of the time, their limited output (only three 7”s during their lifetime) and difficulty fixing them to one musical subgenre led to their obscurity and ultimately them being forgotten. In the early 90s, S.S. stumbled upon Ozzie’s 1977 debut single, “Android Love”, and flipped. He tracked down one of the band’s main members, William Fuller, and struck up a friendship with him. 

A decade later S.S. tosses Fuller the idea to reissue “Android Love” single with a different B side. Fuller digs out some reel to reel tapes, an act that starts a multi-year odyssey through the Ozzie archives, recordings and print material spanning from the mid 70s to the early 80s. The proto-punk meets glam wildness what made “Android Love” (produced by Public Nuisance/Twinkeyz David Houston) such a great song was present in the tapes, but there was more: Massive doses of Blue Oyster Cult inspired hard rock brilliance, Roxy Music glam drama, Sparks-like art, Bomp! Records-worthy power pop, edgy new wave that recalls the Suburban Lawns, and mid-Seventies-style underground rock sounds that thrill any collector of private press obscurities, all with a Keith Moon/Jethro Tull inspired drummer. By the time, S.S. was done digging through the archives, he’d assembled a solid double album worth of unreleased and live material, as well as alternative tracks and a few gems from Ozzie’s previously released stuff. Complete with a full history of the band, lots of photos, and archival images “The Parabolic Rock: 1975 – 1982” is the definitive document of Sacramento’s forgotten band, one worthy of mention with Sacto underground icons Public Nuisance, the Twinkeyz, and Tales of Terror. 
“This Ozzie comp is nuts. Reissue of the year.” - Rich Kroneiss, Terminal Boredom…….~




Tracklist 
A1 Android Love
A2 Organic Gardening
A3 Child Of The Reich
A4 Old Fart From Acturus
A5 Air On Venus
B1 Faunamania
B2 I’m So Stupid
B3 Baby I Cried
B4 Wall
B5 Big Body Build
B6 Geometry
C1 Beach Girls
C2 Scattered Values
C3 Here Lies A Fool
C4 Monsieur Le Bazoo
C5 I Love A Tank
C6 Strange Stains
D1 It Just Won’t Work
D2 Terror In The Streets
D3 The Way Of All Flesh
D4 Cookies Rundgren
D5 The Ballad Of Jack Ruby
D6 Kung Fu Karate Man

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