Music Review: In Between by Oozy Woods

© Francesco Tettamanti

In Between is the first studio album from Italian band Oozy Woods. Formed in 2017 by vocalist Alessandro Baro, guitarist Federico Bertolucci, bassist Marco Tugnoli and drummer Francesco Tettamanti, Oozy Woods are based in Bologna. 

Their debut album reflects on the collective and individual fight through difficult times, relating distinctly to the current pandemic. Exploring the themes of strength, hope and courage, In Between is an album to experience rather than just listen to. 

Taking a more artistic approach to their release, each track has an accompanying piece of artwork that was created by their drummer Francesco Tettamanti. These pieces of art work as a stunning visual companion which really bring the themes of the album to life. 

The opening track Show It To Me builds in sound with the help of twiddly guitars and a steady bassline. When this reaches its peak Alessandra Baro’s wonderful dulcet vocals join the mix. When we reach the chorus section these vocals are joined by harmonies. These are a nice touch and really bring the song to life. 

It seems that the guitars are the main element of Show It To Me and a lot of thought and care has been put into the instrumentation. These guitars add complexity and excitement to the track and make it an interesting listen. The bright tone of the guitars brings up the mood of what could have been a sombre sounding song. 

The harmonies on this track are really something special, when combined with the backing vocals in the second half of the track they create an almost battle cry type sound and bring the song into a 3D landscape. At this point, you are experiencing the track rather than just listening to it. All in all, it is a very strong opener to the album and the instrumental section closes Show It To Me nicely. 

© Stefano Bertolucci

The next stand out track is Penny. A weighty bassline opens the track which sounds more upbeat than previous songs. This is definitely more of a track that you could dance to, which seems to compliment the band’s intention of Penny being a girl who is painted in a dreamlike dance. 

The bass and guitars are the most interesting parts of this track for me. The bass is often front and centre of the track and works as an anchor for the other instrumentation whilst still playing its own intricate line. It seems that guitar solos are the norm for this band and almost every song has had it’s own so far. This one, like the rest, is played with a lot of power and has its own purpose for carrying the song forward.

The energy ramps up in the last section with frontman Alessandro pushing out the lyrics with an urgent purpose and an emotive tone that we have not yet seen from Oozy Woods. Penny is by far the most exciting track on the album so far.  

First released single Modern Needs has a major 90s vibe. The opening vocals shine a light on Alessandro’s vocal talents, which seem to be the main focus of the heavier track. 

The song again features a guitar solo, this is my favourite one yet although there is one jarring note which I’m guessing is intentional. Tonnes of vibrato makes for an intriguing sound which definitely grabs the listeners attention. 

The instrumentation drops out to leave just the vocals and lightly plucked guitars, this slowly builds again only to drop out to just the guitars for a fade-out on the track.   

Just before the halfway point of the album is Violets, which stands at just under five minutes making it one of the shortest on In Between. The opening to this track is quite reserved with a short section stacking the instrumentation.  

Like every other song on this album, Violets has its own story and meaning. This being to draw on all of the mental and psychological boundaries that keep us anchored to our fears. 

The closing track On My Way starts with a gentle guitar which gives the impression of something that is coming to an end. The guitar is not the only element of this song that is gentle, Alessandro’s vocals have taken a softer tone in the closing track. These drift through the song and lightly pull you towards the conclusion of the album. 

Each song flows into the next to create a concise release which is not overly flashy but has its moments of brilliance. In Between is very easy listening, no track is full-on, meaning you could put this album on at any time of the day. Which is a great feat considering the deep and meaningful story behind each track.

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