Oozelles: review

On May 1st, Oozelles released their debut album on the record label, ORG Music. 

I love debut albums. Debut albums are a listener’s first introduction to the world of that particular recording artist or group: their ideas and sounds, which germinated over a lifetime, collected, combined, recorded and presented to the world at large. Often there is no promise of success, but seemingly always the hope that there will be a connection with a listener, which allows the listener to sidestep the everyday world  and go into the world created by the album.

The album by Oozelles is an album, in which you can lose yourself. The album has its own sense of rhythm. Familiar instruments, guitars and percussion, intertwine with keyboard and saxophone accents, leading to a cohesive tribal feel. The atmosphere created by the group has influences, but I do not wish to belittle this album by ranking it against or comparing it to records that preceded it. 

The first tease of the album released by the record label is the song “Refill The Swamp” which begins with an eerie keyboard before the drum pounding and guitar twang hit you in both ears and move your feet in a decadent shuffle. Speaking for myself, it was easy to imagine shadowy figures dancing to this song, such as those being led away by Death himself in the film, “The Seventh Seal.” As teases go, it is a good one. Well-representative of the album as a whole, suggesting all that is good about the album, with songs that build on the single, without directly repeating it.

Oozelles on Bandcamp

On this album the group comes across more as a gang than a band — as in the early days of rock n’ roll, when it seemed that bands lived on top of each other in small communal dwellings, sharing clothing, beds and toothbrushes, and still hitting the stage with an impact of a united force: the old “us against the world” chestnut. As an avid and active listener, I have always appreciated that sort of mindset in a band. When you find a well-made album such as this one, by that sort of band, you feel like you are in on the secret. You want to walk around with the album under your arm, and acknowledge the knowing glances of those, who recognize the album you are holding.

Although this is Oozelles’ debut album, the members of this band have been in other bands, such as: The Starlite Desperation, War Paint, Dura-Delinquent, Jail Weddings and Sugar & Gold — and it appears they have brought all of that experience to bear in the writing, playing and recording of this album. It feels like a classic debut album that will reveal itself with subsequent listens. A classic debut album you’ll share with your “cool” friends. A classic debut album, whose secret you will not long be able to keep to yourself. A classic debut album, which as of May 1st is everywhere: store shelves, digital platforms, and under the arm of that cool guy exiting a record store.

Noah Fence