Wednesday 23 January 2013

Review: New Zero God - 'MMXIII'


Greek post-punk outfit New Zero God have certainly got a solid pedigree having been formed from the combined ashes of the gothic rock band The Flowers Of Romance, industrial rockers Nexus and darkwave act The Drops; all of which have shared the stage with luminaries such as The Mission and Christian Death in their heyday. New Zero God though is a beast unto itself, distilling the best elements of these groups and giving them a major overhaul.
The band's 2010 début, 'Fun Is A Four Letter Word', was a strong initial step that has given the band a foothold in Europe and the UK. But this means that their third studio outing a lot to try and outdo.

The album is primarily guitar driven and retains the endearing punk flirtations of their début with nods to the likes of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Play Dead. But songs like 'Damaged', 'Hypnotised', 'Pin Ups', 'Intoxication' and 'Until The End Of The Line' mix things up nicely by channeling the likes of Fields Of The Nephilim, Killing Joke and even hints of The Cure and Peter Murphy into the band's sound. It's well written and well executed work, with Mike Pougounas' rich and varied vocal performances deserving particular praise.
Where is starts to come apart for the band though is in the production. Punk attitudes aside, there are a few songs that sound as though the mix was rushed through in the studio. Vocals come in too low or sit uncomfortably on top of guitars and drums that just sound too tinny as they swamp the bottom end, which will no doubt be more discernible on the compressed digital format.

There are some great songs on this album that unfortunately come stuck at times. But the band's ear for a catchy chorus and a strong guitar riff often sees them through the rough patches with ease. 'MMXIII' may not be the revelation that takes New Zero God to the next step, but they are definitely on the right track.

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