Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

September 17, 2012

Odd Zero ~ Odd Zero (aka debut)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: punk, hard rock, heavy metal
Label: Odd Zero Records
Year: 2006
Home: New York City

Members: Mike Friedman ~ vocals
Tay Malloy ~ bass
Milton Hernandez ~ drums
Mike Fujii ~ guitars

I've previously reviewed OZ's albums Admire The Liar & Another Odd Zero To Dread. Its no secret I'm not a punk fan, whatever the form or era though I've tried, but I've also always enjoyed OZ because they've broken the mold. They have the energy without the sound. I described their second release Admire The Liar as "the album Duff McKagen wanted to make when he did Loaded. It's raw in your face punk-inspired rock ... the opposite of the million dollar commerically slick uninspired music McKagen created with his punk roots long forgotten." Now, hearing OZ's debut after some time since last listening to them I don't change my opinion. What's fascinating is that there's really not much difference between their three albums. The confidence might be higher on later work, but there's just as many memorable songs here & there's no sense of a band trying to find themselves with odd musical experiments. It's obvious they came out the door with something, it worked & they've never seen a need to travel too far from home. The key for me is that it's punk inspired but not imitative. OZ has a high energy sound that I hear in the New York Dolls (for example, "The Likes Of You" & "Where Are You") that is seeped in the rebel punk spirit, yet like the Dolls OZ never goes too far into that punk spirit that often aims for shock & rebellion over cohesive songs & actual playing/singing ability. Mike Friedman's melodic vocals, a bit reminiscent of Midnight Oil meets the Dolls, is big key to what makes OZ's sound distinct, let alone his flurried songwriting of fast rolling lines (for example "Automatic"). While OZ also features Mike Fujii who is a guitarist that was trained in the lessons of the 80's hard rock scene & can riff sloppily or turn in a technically challenging solo (i.e. "Down," "Hey Lover," "Bloodletting"). So many bands have culled from the punk tradition that decries playing ability. That's great, but it means my ears turn off. OZ cull from the other end of the tradition that's the same end that inspired Hanoi Rocks. Some of the songs are more punk (i.e. "Libido Suicide," "Automatic," "The Likes Of you," "Where Are You," "Karma Boomerang") but a la Joan Jett & the Dolls rather than the Sex Pistols, while others have a more hard rock flavor ("Hey Lover," "Sleep Deprived," "Down") & then there's the stripped down Tool-esque "Bloodletting" & "Peculiar Thing" where the rhythm sections lead the song. I'd be interested in hearing more of this later style. Memorable songs, high energy, a bit sloppy yet technically on-board, though not always the most musicially diverse with only a few templates that get little development, but the result is enjoyable enough to make this a minor complaint. Anyways, it's their debut, too. Any of the three albums by OZ are worth checking out.


  1. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept preaching about this.
    I will send this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
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    1. haha, thanks. I try. They're a good band. I've enjoyed listening & reviewing Odd Zero's 3 albums. Thanks for reading & sharing.