4 out of 5 Stars!
When it comes to vital musical quandaries (ie. “What the hell do I listen to next to satisfy my particular craving?”), I find that fate often intervenes—seemingly out of the blue, along comes another like-minded individual who provides the solution. I’m referring to a new Facebook buddy, who, after reading my posts and discovering my current fondness for “retro-sounding” Hard-Rock and Prog-Rock acts, suddenly befriended me and ardently delivered suggestions that perfectly matched my needs. Didn’t I tell ya?…fate, pure and simple!
Now, one such band he championed was Ozone Mama, a group located in Hungary, of all places, that somehow sounds totally American in its riff-heavy, hard-rockin’ style, with Blues, Soul, and Stoner Rock influences, whisking me back about forty years to the time when Humble Pie, Rolling Stones, Free, Mountain, Faces, Robin Trower, and James Gang, etc. filled concert halls to entertain the crowds with their brand of straightforward Hard Rock.
Not to say that Ozone Mama duplicates any of the aforementioned acts, but the songs on this album do indeed possess a certain je ne sais quoi, one that provides more than a passing nod to the past. More along the lines of The Black Crowes, Cry of Love, Gov’t Mule, or The Quireboys, Ozone Mama obviously worships at the altar of ’70s-styled rockers, and with catchy, guitar-driven, and spirited tracks in its repertoire such as “Good Times Roll,” “Kings and Rulers,” “Ain’t No Place of Mine,” “Man on the Run,” “Hard Times,” and the wonderfully vibrant “Backdoor Man,” tempered with a few mid-tempo rockers and ballads such as “Gypsy Girl,” “Lovelight,” and the absolutely haunting “Hope” (Ozone Mama’s “Wild Horses”), the album truly lives up to its name, Sonic Glory—the magnificence of the past does indeed burst through in the aural delights offered here.
The gifted musicians (vocalist Marci Szekely, guitarist Andris Gabor, bassist Gergely Dobos, and percussionist Máté Gulyás) play their ever-loving hearts out, easily reminding me why I adored those older ’70s acts in the first place, and giving me a reason to equally adore the modern-day groups like Ozone Mama who make absolutely no apologies for recreating the vintage sound—they obviously do it out of their own respect and adoration for those former bands who set the high benchmark for Hard Rock excellence.