Mozart Rottweiler - "Rage Against The Night"
(Nervous Wreckords 1998, CD)
From Aural Innovations #15 (April 2001)
Mozart Rottweiler has apparently been around for a while. The promo material states that in the early 70's he played behinds such 50's acts as Bo Didley, the 5 Satins, and The Belmonts, and has opened for Buzzy Lynhart and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Mozart's current band is a trio consisting of himself on bass, keyboards, and horseless guitar (?), Vincent Guagenti (aka Silver Screen) on guitar, bass, and digital bag of tricks, and Charlie Randazzo (aka Dazzler) on drums. The basis of the music is a grungy, garagey blues rock style. But there's lots of oddball stuff here that indicates Mozart has a variety of interests. As he says in his promo sheet, "The music if it must have a label could be called Alternative-gothic rusty metal or dark blues. But I just call it good rock and roll with some psycho-baroque embellishments". I'll go with that.
The opening track, "Back Stabb'in Ma Ma", sets the tone for the album being a grungy blues rock tune with slide guitar and harmonica, and a difficult to describe, but humorous, vocal style. "Sunday Morning Special" has a heavy driving, but still raw, blues rock sound. Mozart's 50's influences are apparent here. Chuck Berry, Bo Didley. But it's got a bouncy garage rock quality that I really liked, and there's also traces of psychedelia and metal mostly from a few guitar embellishments. "Eat Vegetarians" is similar, but disappointed me because it started with a little freakout jam that I kind of hoped would continue but didn't. "Rage Against The Night" is more of a folk-rock track but also has a bit of psychedelia. "Russian Love Bye" is a quirky song that, for some reason, brought to mind the old Yardbirds song "Mr Zero". Hmmm...
"Night Is In Black And White" is a blues rocker with a ZZ Top "La Grange" backbone to it. "Johnny B. Bach" is Mozart's take on the Chuck Berry classic. "Got My Lights And My Heart On For You" is a honky tonkin' country bar rocker. And "Castles And Dragons" took me a bit by surprise going off into heavy prog rock territory. I hear a variety of influences from Nektar to Uriah Heep. It's that majestic but metallic style that isn't terribly complex but does make an attempt at themes and movements, and includes, as the title suggests, fantasy lyrics.
Overall, I think Mozart Rottweiler would be a rousing good time as a bar band, and I suspect there is far more to his career than can be summarized on one CD. A good fun set of tunes.
For more information and sound samples you can visit the Mozart Rottweiler web site.
Contact via snail mail c/o Mozart Rottweiler; PO Box 137; Centuc Station; Yonkers, NY 10710.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz