Friday, December 20, 2013
Zig Zags – “Scavenger/Monster Wizard” on Who Can You Trust? Records
One of my favorite memories is finding the 13th Floor Elevators self titled record and Trans Europe Express on vinyl to play in a huge abandoned house in the middle of the woods in upstate NY. There was an old shitty stereo hooked up to some massive thrift store speakers and we just fucking cranked them for hours. The way that synth or psych bounced off empty cinder block walls...you really hear things differently when an album like that is given serious room to roam. The Zig Zags single on Who Can You Trust? Records is another one I would have loved to throw into that mix. It's barely able to stretch out here at home with neighbors above and below. Like that Fuzz record from Ty and friends this makes the hair stand up on your neck while you feel like that guy in the memorex ad's.
The buzz and hum of cables before the violent crunch of A-Side's "Scavenger" is natures warning sign, like a rattlesnake, this is going to hurt. Their guitars have been compressed and punched into a fine grit on the very upper registers of scuzz, some of those early Sabbath tracks had a crunch like this. This is their heavy fist of absurdly metal rock taken to the next level...of course this is the label that brought you Hot Lunch and if there ever was a showcase to catch at sxsw.... even the drums are recorded like it was 1978. Backed off vocals in that metal tough layered sound but these guitars go from a power hungry speed to a mellow wavering groove with solo elements between the peaks and valleys like some kind of devil ultra blues. This is going almost evil, having made deals with darker forces to shake this thing loose, you can hear the whoosh of a dial twisted phaser distortion rising from the deep, these aren't normal effects. They play pedals MADE IN HELL!
"Monster Wizard" By now you already know what's in store with a title like that and it starts off slow with the fiddling and crackling of wires being adjusted again. You know in the middle of that heavy reverb and volume the tiniest short or bad connection in that guitar plug is going to break someone's eardrum. They keep this experimental tension before throwing it off the cliff. Impossibly epic they seem to be somehow plowing this entire sound through a wah that's slowly carrying this sound out of the bass deeps. The whole band comes in to sing this one out in a Natural Child style pausing to deliver the title against a squelching theremin. Just the heaviest drone classic rock metal. Zig Zags want to remind you to have a healthy respect for this sound. It has nothing to do with looks or headbangers ball, the bass on this track is shoveling the groove deeper into the crust of rock history. God damn they get into a groove and won't leave you alone. This is serious business. Not for beginners. Perfect for the holiday season.
On Who Can You Trust? Records, Germany !!! Or locally from the band's bandcamp page.