IZZ is a band that was founded in New York, USA in the year 1996 by the brothers John Galgano and Tom Galgano. This outfit started maybe as a Neo-Prog band but soon the complexity of composition, dual drummers and female singers that took the lead, suggested that there was something more going on. You could brand them as a typical crossover band. Besides the influences of the great bands of the seventies (Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant) you will hear influences of Jazz, Pop and Classical music. “Don’t Panic” the 9th studio album from IZZ is centered around the 18 minute epic, “42. The album has been released on the Doone Records label.
Paul Bremner - Electric & Acoustic guitars; Anmarie Byrnes - vocals; Brian Coralian - Acoustic & Electronic drums, percussion; Greg Dimiceli - Acoustic drums, percussion; John Galgano - bass guitar, Electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Ukulele, additional keyboards, vocals; Tom Galgano - keyboards, vocals; Laura Meade - vocals
The album opens with catchy vocal melodies by the two female singers in the title track “Don’t Panic”. The combination with the male lead gives the song a broad vocal spectrum. In the last part of the song the vocals first had me think of the band Magenta but when the fret-less bass kicks in you will have to think of Yes because the bass has a typical Squire sound. It sounds like an ode to the late Chris Squire. Those Yes influences can also be heard in the next song called “42”. A real epic with a duration of almost 19 minutes. In the opening I hear a little drum part that reminds me of one of the Yes masterpieces, the album “Topographic Oceans”. Further on there are references to the guitar sounds of Steve Howe. The strong point of this diverse piece of music is that the band keeps their own identity but on a delicate way injects the music with some references to their teachers. This epic is one of the highlights of an album that has no weak points and is consistent in quality. Halfway the song a little acoustic guitar part applies ode to the band Gentle Giant an in particular to guitarist Gary Green. The man who contributed to the 2014 IZZ album “Crush Of Night”. You can find beautiful vocal melodies and a nice interaction between the male and female lead in this song. “Six String Theory” is a little classical guitar piece. A beautiful rest point in the album. In “Moment Of Inertia” the melody of the acoustic guitar is further developed on piano. So there is a nice classical transition. “Moment Of Inertia is more complex in composition with heavy electric guitar work. Half way this piece the following reference appears ... King Crimson. After this you can enjoy nice synth and guitar parts. The complexity of this instrumental composition is bringing the skillful musicianship of the band in the fullest to the surface. The album ends with a song called “Age Of Stars”. A song with great diversity and some unexpected twists. Another story told ... “Don’t Panic”. A worthy ending of a remarkable album.
“Don’t Panic” the new album of IZZ is a consistent album without any weak points. It seems that band wanted to honor some of the great bands of the Seventies. But they do this in a way that the band’s own identity is not in danger. It are little and delicate references to the bands with which we all grew up. With several female and male voices in the band, the band has a broad vocal spectrum. Your reviewer enjoyed listening to this album very much. Therefore I advise you to do the same because this album is recommended by progVisions.