Pasadena | About a Girl
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  June 19, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
I wonder whether Ozma didn’t title their new album after their suburban Los Angeles home base as a way of distinguishing themselves from Weezer, with whom they’ve been compared (for good reason) since the two acts toured together in 2001. “Weezer are from LA proper,” the title seems to proclaim. “We’re from Pasadena!” Good try, guys, but Pasadena still plays like Pinkerton redux, complete with buzzing synthesizers, whiny sensitive-dude vocals, and more arena-emo guitar fuzz than Good Charlotte’s latest. (Inviting two members of the Rentals to guest on Pasadena might not have been the most efficient way to undertake a “We’re Not Weezer” campaign.) Still, with no sign of a Make Believe follow-up on the horizon, there are worse things a band can do these days than indulge a Rivers Cuomo fixation. And Ozma are no SoCal slouches when it comes to churning out action-packed pop-rock tunes: Pasadena offers a handful of gems, including opener “No One Needs To Know,” which intermittently breaks into a goofy spaghetti-western gallop, and “Fight the Darkness,” where driving power chords give singer Ryen Slegr’s decision to “tear off our clothes and throw them on the floor” some drama.

Ozma + Eastern Conference Champions + The Actual | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | June 27 | 617.864.EAST

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