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Posted July 6, 2011 by Mike Mineo in Features
 
 

The Rozzes

The Rozzes are a very young band with an extra dose of talent and vigor, similar in mold to recent youthful power-pop successes like Cloud Nothings. Similarly, they possess a musical intellect that presents talent well beyond their years. They are a band to watch closely as they develop into stars. Even if comparisons to groups like The Strokes are persistent at this point due to their similar styles of production, it is impossible to deny The Rozzes’ inseparable talents, especially when the quality of their material is growing at such a rapid rate. Listeners will be shocked when realizing how young these guys are. They have such an astute grasp on the garage-rock sound they’ve achieved in a short time that musicians ten, twenty, and thirty years their senior will scratch their heads, perplexed as to how it comes this naturally to them.

Both chemistry and similar musical genes play roles in The Rozzes’ quick maturing process. The California-based quartet consists of four cousins that grew up in the same house together. Music was a huge part of their lives at an early age and their interest in it grew along with them. As such, their lifetime commitment to music has resulted in a continuous songwriting process. Their debut album will be released for free in the coming months, followed by appearances at multiple festivals throughout August and September.

Judging by their Twitter account, it’s not surprising that The Rozzes have been in contact with Ryan Gentles, manager of The Strokes (and called by some “the sixth Stroke”). They certainly resemble the prestigious indie-rockers at their earliest/best stages. The main chorus in “Leave Without Me” – particularly when lead singer Isaiah Navarro belches out “Tonight let’s start outside / Now you know I’ve got nowhere to hide” – resembles The Strokes’ “Trying Your Luck” on multiple levels. In addition to Navarro’s unavoidable similarity to the scraggly vocals of Julian Casablancas, a fuzzy rhythm guitar is muzzled under a mix of tremolo-laden guitar trickles and evolving bass lines. The three-minute mark introduces a more prominent bass, which is somewhat puzzlingly mixed higher than usual. The spontaneous increase works advantageously though, producing a sound that is hectically infectious but never rushed nor desperately concocted.

the band's beginnings

Of course, the smoothly crafted hooks help make such comparisons abundant. You can find them in every chorus on “Leave Without Me”, which progresses to be a polished example indicative of the group’s future. That is, sitting comfortably in the role of radio darlings. “Native Sun” is more amateur in its production and spastic rhythmic patterns, the chorus failing to separate itself from the verse like when it was done exceptionally on the aforementioned “Leave Without Me”. But it is a worthwhile nugget nonetheless, showcasing a band clearly learning the ropes and discovering their sound. As something like “Native Sun” proves, ambitious prog-rock is not out of the question for a band with genuine chemistry like The Rozzes. They’re clearly on the path to bigger and better things.

The final mix of “Indians” is another example of the group’s phenomenal pacing and stirring evolution; the latter is occurring right now. With more ferocity and garage-rock vigor than most ‘00s indie-rock groups (The Strokes included), this fast-paced burst of energy brings to mind a recent movement ignited by groups like Cloud Nothings and Smith Westerns. Bringing along a variety of styles from blues and power-pop to the ambitious proto-punk of groups like Television and The Stooges, “Indians” is one example of a revival that listeners should hope to hear more of this decade. It marks a revival that, instead of relying on hype or trendiness, brings back the raw energy and combustible hooks of past rock acts that remain essential to this day – especially after they defied initial misconceptions about their so-called “amateur” approach. Amateur my ass.

RIYL: The Strokes, Cloud Nothings, Smith Westerns, Rooney, Television, The Stooges, Girls, The Babies, Harlem, Wavves, Craft Spells, Real Estate, Surfer Blood, Magic Kids, Best Coast, Crystal Stilts, No Age, Male Bonding, Wild Nothing, Vivian Girls

The Rozzes – Leave Without Me

The Rozzes – Indians

The Rozzes – Native Sun

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Mike Mineo

 
I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].