Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Zoltars-Walking through the Dark LP (2013)

This band has a real knack for writing quirky, off-the-cuff garage tunes. Their Live Like Dragons EP had me jazzmatazzed and their second LP don't disappoint, neither. The sound is much the same, but there's more of it and the songs feel more focused than on said 3-song effort.

You get the feel, listening to this LP, that the Zoltars are playing more for their own enjoyment than 'cause they really wanna sell records or impress the girls. The production (recording? Same shit to me) gives it a hushed, almost subdued feeling that suits the lyrics well. Topics usually focus around lonely night trips, and wanting to get out of yr house simply 'cause it makes you feel alright. Sentiments I'm certainly familiar with, and the instruments are balanced just right on tunes like "Here in My Room," the opener. But let's take "Fear not Death" for a showpiece: constrained, restrained instrumental layouts, menacing guitar notes, and a singer gently, menacingly, repeating "fear not death." Ok, fucker, gimme that 6-shooter, the gin, and whatever pills you've got.

Make of that what you will, Zoltars are one of the few smash-it-up stellar reps of what passes for a garage rock scene in the States these days. Unlike most of the other groups in that category, they deserve garage star status because of their restraint: this band understands how much drama can be packed into build-up and the rising-action part of the story, and use the climax scenes very sparingly. They're best to blast when starting your evening. That means when you're on your 3rd drink of a 10-godknowshowmanynight, and you haven't done any (hard) drugs yet. Have fun, kids.

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