Of course this band is from Austin. There’s a certain something-not a sound, but a vibe perceptible even from this distance-unique to Austin bands. Maybe it’s the Roky-esque guitar chug or the dead-insect vocals (reminds me of ? & The Mysterians, I know they weren’t from Austin but you get the idea), or the slight country shadings of the production, but yeah these are Texans from the good part (good city) of that beshitted Lone Star Republic.
As soon as I heard the nullnode talk-singing and scratchy, thin guitar sound on “All my Friends”, I knew this was a winner. Or at least a winner by DrugPUnk standards. Which is a loser by most peoples’. If you’re a frequent reader of this fine e-publication, you’re gonna dig the Zoltars, if'n you don't already. It’s got what we all love. A crude, minimal-by-design garage sound that plays like Roky getting fucked on gin and hanging out with Johnny Thunders; a subtle note of country menace giving the EP more presence than it would otherwise possess; and great song titles like “Heroin Thunder.” What’s not to love? In fact, “Heroin Thunder” is the real winner here. The guitarist chugs along like a slow-moving Greyhound to Odessa, Texass, and the singer doesn’t bother finding a melody (harmony? I was too busy hitting on this really cute J.A.P. in high school music class to learn the difference) appropriate for the riff, he just talks, neutrally, over the noise. The bassist and drummer hold the whole fuckup of a tune together in a sorta understated way. This is the song that shoulda been the theme song for “That ‘70s Show” but never was, since it’s less flashy than said show’s theme song, while catching the apathetic boredom of being a teenager in a perversely enjoyable sorta way.
The Zoltars is on the same label that gave us the Bad Indians LP, but I like this thing more. It has all the promise of the Indians’ early work and none of the burdensomely front-forward psychedelic flair of their LP. Visit mom for dinner, smoke some dope in her basement, and listne to this EP. Also look for it on my best-of list in December.