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Ozone Mama at Cherry Colas – CMW 2016 Live Review

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Ozone Mama at Cherry Colas – CMW 2016 Live Review

Photo Cred: Jay Hodgins

Photo Cred: Jay Hodgins

When:  CMW May 6, 2016
Where: Cherry Cola’s (200 Bathurst St)

Total Score: 5

Visual/Sound Presentation: 8
Stage Presence: 6
Musical Ability: 6
Crowd Reception: 4
Wow Factor: 1

Having opened for acts like Monster Magnet, Airbourne and The Darkness, Hungary’s Ozone Mama was expected to steal the show at Cherry Cola’s Friday night.

The 70’s classic rock throwback rockers fronted by Chris Cornell look/sound-a-like Marton Szekely won a Fonogram (Hungarian Juno/Grammy) in 2012. Their single “Hard Times” was featured on CMW’s website and I had been listening to it for days with high expectations.

On a night with dozens of viable options on the table, I chose to attend their second set of the festival after missing their Canadian debut at Cadillac Lounge on Tuesday. Here are a list of bands that played during the same 11pm set on Friday night: The Honest Heart Collective, JPNSGRLS, KJ Jansen from Chixdiggit!, Bike Thiefs, Wintersleep, nTTx, The Black Lips, Lost In Film, Texas King and Vancouver’s White Lung (their only CMW set).

To make it fair, Ozone Mama on another time or another night might have scored ok.   However, on the most important programmed night of the festival, one hour before midnight, I expected the best.

After listening to 5 mins of searching for the perfect guitar tone wank fest and suffering through a few snare tuning hits, the band started just a few minutes behind schedule.   The featured single “Hard Times” came later on and was delivered with about 80 percent of the passion and ferocity that I was expecting.  The band managed to raise a few eyebrows and bang a few heads at times before trailing off into a slower parts of the set where boredom set in among the half capacity crowd to almost train wreck proportions.

A great band on paper with the right image and fantastic recordings, Ozone Mama failed to meet the “WoW” factor needed for an 11pm slot on a Friday night during CMW.

The attempts to address the crowd by Szekely went unnoticed and the Hungarians’ ultimately went on to become just another rock band who flew in from far away only to be forgotten on their first foray into Canadian Music Week.

By: Darrell Shelley


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