Release Date: May 21, 2013
Life often screws with me for weeks at a time, while it only pauses occasionally to recharge or mess with someone else for variety. Take last week for instance, five working days of the proverbial non-stop dead fish slapping me in the face every morning to wake up and drag my ass out of bed. I fought everything tooth and nail Monday to Friday. Resistance was the only thing giving me the strength to get through it.
By the time Friday evening did arrive with a respite from singlehandedly providing entertainment for the powers of the universe, I was in no mood to hear any music new to my ears. Let alone give an unbiased and honest review of a band that may or may not deserve unsolicited wrath or praise from me.
Eventually I gave in to ZED’s upcoming new CD “Desperation Blues”, their sophomore effort and follow-up to 2010’s “The Invitation“. I concluded at the very least it would be better than listening to my loud neighbors having evening cocktails with their pretentious friends.
For those inclined toward excess information, the album was produced by Systematic frontman Tim Narducci, who learned his craft in no small part from the genius of Howard Benson (Motörhead, Halestorm, Sepultura, P.O.D.).
I will not regurgitate the names of bands that are so often quoted as influencing, ZED’s sounds. They are subtle as well as obvious and you will figure them out on your own. They are sprinkled throughout the tracks and serve as reminders that classic metal and southern rock, as well as inventive takes on some well-known metal bands of more recent years, is alive and well and apparently living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The first two tracks, “Please” and “ Skin and Bones” are good indications of things to follow, and they served as sort of a path to ease me into what I thought was going to be just another metal band searching for its identity as I had no prior knowledge of their first album. I was never happier to be wrong in my misjudgment.
Even though it was a slow process, air returned to my lungs and my teeth began to unclench. By the time tracks three and four “Killing Machine”, “Desperation Blues” ended, my faith in mankind and will to live had been restored. I felt refreshed and renewed. I wanted more which was just what I got on the aptly titled “More”. Which by the way, has some shining bits of guitar playing, so pay attention.
Now there are some other gems on this one but I am going to let you discover them on your own.
I am not outright able to suggest you break open a (Insert your favorite beer name here), (although it pairs equally well with a well known beverage of a southern nature) and blast “Killing Machine” on your speakers while hanging out on your back porch for all the neighbors to hear. And I can neither condone nor condemn such a socially disruptive display. But… In a perfect world it would seem like the natural response.
Rating: A respectable 8 out of 10…
Pete Sattari- Guitar/Vox
Rich Harris – Drums
Greg Lopez – Guitar
Mark Aceves – Bass