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Zebrahead - "MFZB" CD 15/52:24
Pretty inoffensive SoCal influenced punk rock; along the lines of any number of other bands from the same area that have their roots in the Descendents. They add a few other elements to the songs, including some hip hop raps here and there, but in general, they're a band that seems made for the MTV-Sum 41 kids to love. Perky melodies, singalong choruses, and an occasional schizophrenic hardcore/rap vocal line. Thing is, it all sounds sanitized. I'm sure they love doing these songs, but it sounds like so many other bands and just doesn't have the balls that a great punk band needs. It's one thing if what you're going for is the shy guy pop punk/guy in love with a girl he won't ever get, but I think these guys want emotion and it's just not strong enough for that. Shake some of the gloss off guys, it'll serve you well. Steve
@ www.columbiarecords.com

Zombies - “5 Live Zombies” CD 16/35:37
Live in the studio versions of several famous and not so famous Zombies tracks, and the only “album” between their two official LPs, 1964’s “Begin Here” and 1968’s “Odyssey and Oracle”. The Zombies were one of the least rocking of British Invasion bands, both because they had a prominent piano rather than a loud 2-guitar attack and because some of their songs had an overly complex, almost jazzy structure. I’ve always preferred their moody, haunting numbers – such as “Just Out of Reach” and “What More Can I Do” on this disc – to their lame soul and uptempo rock efforts. Jeff
@ import, no address

Zong Amin – s/t CD 12/43:21
Unique sounding Japanese musical excursions that bring to mind everything from Thinking Fellers Union Local: 282, ESG, Jaco Pastorius, Trans Am, Ennio Morricone, New Order, disco and a number of other things. There’s definitely a pop culture blender feel to the proceedings, but less concentrated on chaotic elements and more on dark, slightly bent, sometimes dancey pop. Only cohesive by the skin of its teeth, but pretty entertaining. Conan
@ www.fleshrecords.com

Zykos - "Comedy Horn" CD 10/39:54
A great mix of technical drumming, crunchy guitars, screeching vocals and twangy undertones. These guys change it up enough that only a hopeless asshole would be bored. Zykos even bring a piano to the proceedings, proving there's always room for keys in guitar-based structures. Splitting the difference between And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead… and Spoon, Zykos ring up one of the best debut albums of the year. Congrats to Post-Parlo Records for signing these guys. "Comedy Horn" gets better with every listen, and it's deserving of each one you’re likely to give it. John
@ www.comedyhorn.com

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