zaza Cameo EP
  • THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2009

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ZAZA is one of those bands whose name doesn't really help to establish the sound it should make... e.g. everyone knows When you hear "cow," you think "moo." Upon hearing of a band called ZAZA, I honestly expected Native American tribal chants, or Tiesto-worthy dance hall booty-shaking beats. Neither of these are even remotely close to appropriate. ZAZA is psychedelic post-rock, with vocals reverberated straight to the ceiling, and strong shoegaze tendencies. Distorted, fuzzy and limp headed, ZAZA will put you in some sort of rock-trance. Well, I guess that's somewhat close to hypnotically chanting.

Cameo is the first EP from the young band, whose spaced-out tunes are more suggestive of LA dream-rock or airy brit-pop than typical New York Brooklyn folk. Obvious influences here include everything with reverb in the 1980's (which was everything), but also suggest a twinge of dark spots in the pysche of the music. "Sooner Or Later," which creeps into the room at night with it's eerily devoted lyrics and war-like drums, is particularly pretty, and minus some of the distortion and plus a lot more washed out vocals, kind of reminiscent of LA dirty pop band Gliss. Although ZAZA seems pseudo-tame on their EP with only six relatively mellowed out tracks, the music is well crafted and executed. The melodies sparsely dissolve, instead expanding into promising hooks full of synth-y background noise. It's a charmingly opaque wall of sound.

All in all, a quaint and cohesive EP. Hopefully ZAZA will return with a capricious LP, to really break the mold of "just another NY band." They definitely have the potential. Perhaps some hypnotic chanting?

-joe puglisi

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