Richie Kotzen has had a decorated career in hard rock through his solo career and contributions to names such as Poison, Mr. Big, and his latest work with The Winery Dogs. Aside from his sizable playing style and vocal abilities, Kotzen has been noted for having a massive guitar tone with the potential for both hefty chord progressions and more delicate presentations.
Tech 21 has taken the challenge of crafting a fitting overdrive pedal that most closely represents Kotzen’s sound. Most of the features included with the pedal have since been incorporated into another standalone unit, the Richie Kotzen RK5 Signature Fly Rig. The similarly named Richie Kotzen OMG Overdrive packs quite the punch, through its bold appearance and sizable contributions to your existing layout.
Aesthetics rarely have much significance over what pedals tone obsessed players set in front of themselves, perhaps because looks have the opportunity to sway one’s best interest. That being said, as far as overdrive pedals come, the OMG Overdrive takes home the gold with it’s brilliant red finish which easily sets it apart from its mostly ebony competition.
These details are really only worth mentioning because the pedal itself is a knockout, delivering an added depth to your existing distortion that could fuel a number of stylistic horizons. Although the pedal does come packaged along with an array of settings to aid the interested guitarist with tapping into Kotzen’s personal breed of tone, there’s enough variety here to provide more modern and aggressive sounds.
Level, tone, girth and drive knobs allow for fine tweaking of the pedal’s impact on the end product through your amplifier. After a few minutes of experimenting, I was laying out riffs from Van Halen and Ratt with enough grit to suit my personal interest. Easing off of the drive and level knobs accommodated more of a relaxed rock and edgy blues sound that suited a few Foghat and Pat Travers licks.
The OMG Overdrive is also equipped with a boost switch that provides an extra dose of kerosene when you’re tapping into a 1980s hard rock and heavy metal attitude. At the same time, it sounds just fine on its own sans distortion and the main settings, which can be switched off just as easily. The boost switch has its own knob right in the middle of the layout which can be used to alter the level of impact it has on your sound.
Tech 21 have assembled quite the impressive little package with the Richie Kotzen OMG Overdrive pedal. Simple rehash of your typical overdrive effect with an artist association this isn’t; there is a wealth of variety to be found with this unit that is unique onto its own and is warmly recommended to those musicians looking to add a new weapon into their performing arsenal.