Wednesday 24 February 2016

Review: Zaibatsu – 'Zero'


Italian stoner-infused prog rock trio Zaibatsu unleash 'Zero' an aggressive and dynamic slice of 21st century rock as it should be done. Primal aggression meets lofty imagination locked in a desert rock suit that the band constantly try and break out from. It's one of those albums tha both confirms and confounds your expectations of what the band will do.

Songs such as 'Plastic Machine Head', 'Oppenheimer's Sister', 'Chemtrails', 'Mantra 3P', 'Technocracy', and 'Collateral Language' for example play with strong riffs, hypnotically monotone vocals and strong rhythms before completely throwing song construction conventions completely out of the window for the hell of it. Acts like Kyuss, Queens Of the Stone Age, Tool and Even Primus are obvious influences yet the end result is, like the afore mentioned bands completely unique in its execution.

The instrumentation, progressive with hints of jazz yet drenched in desert rock fuzz, are the primary focus with the vocals making occasional appearances to drive the point home. The production is straight-forward and clean that balances the instruments nicely and allows the vocals to slip and slide through as they need to. It maintains a consistency even if the songs diverge into jam-like tangents that throw genre expectations out of the window.

One thing is for certain and that's Zaibatsu know what they're doing. The are experts and as such can work away from structure and genre on a whim and still create an exciting and dynamic rock album. The hard riffs, and addictive rhythms give 'Zero' and instant mass appeal, yet their progressive streak ultimately takes the album down a variety of avenues that require multiple listens to take it all in. It's a strong début that will undoubtedly see the band acquire recognition swiftly. Hopefully they will be able to build on this sooner rather than later with another strong release to cement their place.

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