Ouzo Bazooka | Transporter

 
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Family Average: 4/7

Load up your potato cannons we are about to blast everybody to the stone age! An ancient time where dirt was an appropriate floor, and beer was brewed underground by accident. I am of course talking about the 1960s. Ouzo Bazooka hands us their new take on psychedelic rock sounds on their latest album Transporter. Did the family have an old fashioned freak out?

Listen along on Their Bandcamp and read on to find out:

 
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Imagine what goth hermit crabs dream of. That's Ouzo Bazooka.

Ouzo Bazooka hailing from the land of Bristol have come to us bearing gifts. These gifts take the form of their latest album Transporter. Transporter is an unrelenting descent into middle eastern psychedelic rock bliss. On their fourth album, Ouzo Bazooka struts their stuff.

They show a kind of compatibility that comes from playing countless hours together. Mixing and matching different ideas until they find the ones that work. This kind of flow is essential to the kind of psychedelic pop they are creating. Also, it should be mentioned that this is not that newer wave of psychedelic pop that has been seeping into the scene. This is more or less a throwback to sounds from the sixties. It might just be the heavy use of that organ keyboard sound or the harmonies, or all the paint I ate when I was younger, but darn it feels like the sixties again.

The album starts a lot heavier than it finishes, sort of like a kaleidoscope. That makes no sense, but what are you going to do about it?

4/7

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Ouzo Bazooka gave Gidget an electric sitar.

Hailing from Tel Aviv, Ouzo Bazooka mashes together a heavy psych influence with Middle Eastern sounds, high pitched electronic noise, and a Bowie-ish vocal. It’s Middle Eastern psych rock; completely '60s in influence and completely odd in the best way.

The sound is familiar, but becomes nuanced and unique due to the accented Middle Eastern influences. It feels musically ambitious in the sheer amount of territory covered. Heavily layered and playful, I applaud their experimentation. However, many of the songs feel repetitive, overwrought, and somewhat inconsistent in tone. I also kept getting tripped up on the lyrics. There is some heavy, pretty simple rhyming going on that gets pretty cringe. Overall, they flit from genre to genre, influence to influence, and while this isn't a bad thing necessarily, I do wish there was more cohesion.

Nevertheless, "Space Camel" had me grooving. Opening with that '60s psych sound, it bleeds into a funky jam and slips into an electronic, synth, sitar situation. I wish all the tracks were like this one. It was just weird and made no sense. It did run a little long, but I kept replaying it so that's kind of a moot point.

Once I accepted that this was an album of a whole lot of weird, I got pretty into it.

3/7

 
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If you were searching for the perfect soundtrack to a Bowie-psychedelic remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, look no further than Ouzo Bazooka’s Transporter. Seriously, there are quite a few tracks that had me imagining a more androgynous Indie spiraling through arabic labyrinths and making out with a puffy-sleeved Marion Ravenwood. There is heavy middle-eastern influence in here mixed with some british pop and psych rock. It was a welcome addition to a genre of music I typically loathe.

Perhaps it’s because the tracks are often well composed and thought out. They clearly put a lot of love into their music. Nothing is there just to be there. Everyone that was invited to the party was invited because they serve a specific purpose AND they’re fun as hell. That’s my kind of party: heavily organized chaos.

“Trip Train” and “Sleep Walk” were two my favorites. Perhaps because they’re more “gateway drug” psych rock than other tracks. What can I say? I’m a sucker for catchy hooks, and they’ve got them!

Not something I would normally listen to but hey, that’s why review things like this. If someone else wants to dip their toes into some psychedelic rock that’s also well organized and catchy as hell, I’d recommend starting with these guys.

4/7

 

 
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If you threw some 80s funk, psychedelic garage rock together with a little bit of Beck and Creature Feature, it might sound like this.

So this band’s got a funky, psychedelic feel right from the get-go. But I dunno in the beginning is kinda flat. It tried to go too strong the whole time so there wasn’t enough variation, it repeated a lot and everything got kinda muddled. Fortunately, the other songs change it up a bit, and each one does a pretty good job matching the mood to the track title. They throw in some unique musical choices like the keyboard in “Latest News” with the organ setting. “Space Camel” changes it up even further with a funky techno synth feel to it. Definitely sells that Arabian desert feel. The mood of these two kinda combine together to form the sound of “Coming from the Wild, which is probably one of my favorites from this album. “Trip Train” has that driving repetitive pattern that puts you in mind of the chugging associated with locomotion. “Sleep Walk” went back to being a bit bland again though. It was more tame than the first song, and had more to it, but it just was missing that edge to keep it engaging. It felt kinda empty in comparison to some other songs. “Falling” kinda has it end on a meh note. I can see what they were going for but I wasn’t sold on it. Kinda reminded me of that song “In Dreams” but with a bit of psych thrown in. And while the quirky sound of the vocals is entertaining to passable in the other songs, in this one it gets a bit grating.
I can respect when an album wants to explore their space and options. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. But if you never try you never know. And now they can build off of what did work and bring it to their next album.

4/7

 
Sean Maldjian