United States of Oz: Not Afraid
Not Afraid
United States of Oz: "Not Afraid"

Song List: Holdin On, Gotta Get Out, A Beautiful World, Renegade

Not Afraid is the debut EP by United States of Oz, a young hard rocking trio from Gold Coast. Well, not that young—bassist Steven Dalouche and guitarist Jesse Murray are both just past the 20-year mark. It's their 1999-born drummer Daniel Miranda who plunges the group's average age into minor-hood.

But age ain't nothin' but a number for U.S. of Oz. Their heavy, garage-rock vibe on Not Afraid channels early Sabbath, both in a grainy production quality and rudimentary arrangements. Nothing extraordinary about U.S. of O. All they do is kick-ass, honestly and unapologetically, without the aid of smoke, mirrors, or post-production wizardry.

Not Afraid travels all around the musical genre map. "Gotta Get Out" channels a bit of Rage Against the Machine. "Renegade" is a bit more head-on rock, with its riff-based structure oddly moving through a veritable history of Ozzy Osbourne guitarist styles—fast riffs emulating Jake E. Lee on Bark at the Moon, harmonic screams a la Zakk Wylde, and a classical tidbit evoking Randy Rhoads.

If you're digging Not Afraid, keep an eye out for U.S. of Oz's latest EP, set for a 2013 release.

Reviewed on 8/1/13