“Ain’t It Beautiful” by ZO2

Artist: ZO2
Title: “Ain’t It Beautiful”
Label: Splivey Cool Entertainment (Independent Release)
Release Date:
>Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

I’m glad when this happens because every so often you come across a band that reminds you about the simple pleasures of Rock & Roll and all of the magic that it possesses as a form of music. This is the case with New York’s own ZO2; a three-piece hard rocking group that bring you back to a sound that is generally lost by bands that are concerned more about genre labels than the task at hand. The bands sophomore effort is entitled “Ain’t It Beautiful” and it’s an independent release just like their debut but don’t let the term “indie” sway you in any fashion. ZO2 is a group that comes from some truly inspirational musical foundations. Bassist Dave Z. is also a member of that holiday juggernaut we call The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, while brother Paulie and drummer Joe Cassata each have ample background from their numerous working bands. At times it seemed like these bands were busier than some of the established industry “professionals”. The group also had the chance to open up for KISS for the entire run of dates on their “Rock The Nation” tour. They would perform on this tour with Poison as well, and this is clearly a milestone for these guys. The CD follows “Tuesdays & Thursdays” with a similar theme of Melodic Hard Rock that will appeal to all fans who loved what KISS and Aerosmith did in their early years. Their sound is by no means retro but instead is a skillful blend of the old meeting the new and showing the listener how fresh it can sound when you focus on the basic formulas. The guys each sing which adds three-part harmony vocals and make for some easily memorable choruses. Paulie Z. has the kind of voice that many Rock singers can only aspire to for he is bluesy at times, passionate at others, and when it is called for – he can scream like a banshee. This is the kind of diversity that you want in a front man and he surely delivers on all fronts as he gets you on your feet with numbers like “Get Up Now” and “If You See Kay”. While these are two of the bands most inspired rockers on the CD, I loved “Comin’ Home” and “Isolate” the best as each of them just took me away to a live show with the vibe that they brought on. The guys also took the time to show respect and homage to the Rock founders with “Get The Led Out”, a number that uses some sweet Zeppelin feels and style in a mix with their own unique sound.

As far as the production goes, well they did an excellent job and one does not normally find levels of quality on the independent side. The effort was co-written and produced by Bob Held and features clever song-writing and hooks. ZO2 is music that you will want to play loud, sing along to and memorize all at the same time. I’m convinced that bigger things await ZO2 and their fans. Anyone else want to come along?

Track Listing:
1. Isolate
2. She Believes
3. If You See Kay
4. Ain’t It Beautiful
5. Comin’ Home
6. Everywhere
7. Get Up Now
8. I Don’t Mind
9. Get The Led Out
10. Hopelessly Gone
11. On The Verge Of War

Official Website: www.zo2.com

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