Ozma is more Weezer than any of those dime-a-dozen pretenders to the throne that Weezer sits upon; in fact, these days, Ozma is even more Weezer than the pop-rock crown-bearers themselves.
They bring back memories of the first Weezer incarnation—you know, the one with variety, integrity and high ambitions. And thanks to Ozma's latest (a pairing of two EPs), devotees of Weezer's blue album can put down their GameBoys and sing along with a new group of geeks. The balalaika playing, marching-troops sound effects, and recurring musical themes fit together into a tightly focused whole on The Russian Coldfusion EP—even though the tracks (maybe deliberately) bleed into one another, "No One Needs to Know" will still sneak into your Top 10 Favorites for at least a few minutes. But on the following Bootytraps EP—the only recurring musical theme here is the word "booty" in every song title—Ozma's ambitions sometimes fall flat: the lame blues guitar in "Maybe in an Alternate Dimension," for instance, or the meditative-but-still-stupid introduction to "Immigration Song." But they still pop-rock their way through the majority of the EP, and the flute on closer track "Continental Drift" is a welcome and unexpected coda. Donkey is an amazingly catchy slice of rock & roll, even if it's a sometimes-spotty portrait of a band trying—not always successfully —to be something more than what they are.

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