EP REVIEW: IZZY ROCKS – METAMORPHOSIS
BY FARID LONG


Izzy Rocks is the principle singer / songwriter of Singapore alternative / punk band 6 overdrive. After a sustained period of success fronting the band, Izzy now strikes out on his own as a solo artiste with his maiden effort “Metamorphosis”.

Aside from fronting 6 Overdrive, the multi-talented Izzy has also tipped his hat as producer and “behind the scenes” recording man of the band “By Any Means” & Trampas Django’s “Cowboy from Hell”. Izzy first ventured into “do it yourself” home audio recording music in 2012 and his ever evolving and improving song writing and production techniques makes his solo “Izzy Rocks” was a project milestone. The album was completed in 120 days and includes 4 newly written songs.

Sunny Day
“Sunny day” centers around the old adage of “everything that can go wrong - will go wrong”. It tells the story of a man who arrives late job interview because of waking too late. His misfortunes are further compounded by getting drenched in the pouring rain. Auto-biographical references or not, we will never know but Izzy later observed a mother singing a nursery rhyme type song about the rain to her young daughter which served as the inspiration and catalyst for the song. As an album opener, Sunny day is filled with shearing and wailing guitars.

Nightshift
“Nightshift” is an ode to all the hard-working people who have to work the graveyard shift and their perspective on the rest of us who work normal hours. It blends the heavy “industrial” sounding rhythm guitar interspace with “busy” lead guitar which plays under the vocal tracks. A cacophony of rock guitars assaults your senses with the icing on the cake being the wah pedal guitar solo by Rob Quam.

Come Home Now
“Come Home Now” was originally written and recorded as a single for 6 Overdrive in 2014. At the time, it did not meet Izzy’s or the band’s expectations and was indefinitely shelfed. In 2017, Izzy rerecorded the song to his desired specifications and further tweaked the production. The song revolves around parental love and missing their kids who are away for either studies or work. Not a traditionally used subject in the formula or punk or alternative rock acts but is non-the less a novel idea. The track also features excellent “clean” rhythm guitar used as “atmospheric” filler musical texture.

The One Thing
“The One Thing “ is the stand out track of the album. Izzy keeps the formula or raunchy driving guitar. The tune features an excellent hook in a memorable chorus. Initially planned as a collaborative piece with Wan of the band Oligarchy (which did not work out), “The One Thing” is about office politics. This is yet another unusual song topic for this music genre but the lyrics lament on his actual experiences in the rat race work place.

See The Sky
See the Sky” is a very much an anti establishment song filled with rebellion angst lyrics which were also re-written in 2017. This track reveals grunge band “Nirvana’s undoubted influence on Izzy.

Now What
“Now What?” was written out of frustration with the SMRT, a subject most of us can relate to. After being caught for 3 days straight in a train delay, Izzy asks the question: “Now What?” The song brings the listener images of train passengers being cramped in like sardines complete body odor and everyone getting impatient. Filled with sarcasm, Izzy points out that the “powers that be” continue to “politically” remind us that we have a “world –class transportation system”. The truth, just like any typical Donald Trump lie, show us otherwise.

The band
For this ground breaking effort, Izzy worked with several international musicians:

Rob Quam (USA) (Lead Guitars on all songs except See the Sky)
Jesus Ramirez (USA) (Lead guitars – See the Sky)
Stypher (Serbia) (Bass for Come Home Now)

The album was mastered by Zac (Canada).

Metamorphosis bears the musical and tonal trademark of any good alternative/punk rock band. Packed with tight chucky guitars and effervescent arrangements, Izzy’s trademark “English punk” sounding vocals stands out among his Singapore peers. Interesting song writing ideas which cover a gamut of topics not normally used by bands of this genre, Izzy takes the mundane aspects of life and paints on a broad musical canvass to show us a very much rock and roll snapshot of life in Singapore.

Certainly, a rebel with a cause, punk is certainly not dead.

Listen to the album on Spotify at:

https://open.spotify.com/album/7y6zYjBB4fv9tTLCbArKxg