Monday, July 16, 2012

Zany Zongas - "Northpark" (Old Monster Records)


I walk to and from my job in Austin, TX. The blistering sun shoots me with death rays every summer and this summer isn't any different. When I get home - sweating like a cold beverage bottle - I grab the mail, throw it down on the coffee table, and try everything I can to lower my body's core temperature.  My skin should love the sun though because I spent my toddler years in the golden shine of southern California, but holy F how I hate the sun! I received a package recently containing a cassette by a group called Zany Zongas and a short note from their label Old Monster Records. I scanned the note and immediately noticed the phrase, "recorded live to tape in San Diego..." AH HOME! Brothers! I have to listen to this now as I decompress from a long ass day. Where's my frosty mug?

Zany Zongas' tape is titled Northpark (one of the neighborhoods in San Diego) and their LSD on the beach sound is improvised metallic guitar ooze. ZZ is a duo from what I can hear with guitars, bass, minimal keyboard upper register tones, and occasional percussion, playing slow circular riffs and orchestrated feedback. I would use the word "sludge," but that implies a certain kind of "metal" which I don't think is quite right for these guys. The music is dark, reflective, inward aiming, and causes me to sit back with my eyes closed daydreaming at sunset. The second piece, "Ahadu," is my favorite on first go around. The guitars approximate swirling light shows and somewhere deep in my mind a hippie woman is twirling barefoot. The pacing stays slow from start to finish so this album only works for me as mood music. It has, at times, the quality of an interesting demo. The last piece, for example, just kind of slows to an ending instead of reaching a real conclusion. I have the feeling that these riffs can be elongated and stretched out on stage, taking them past the rehearsal room. This is a good effort.

Listen and Buy HERE.

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