I was lucky enough to see Zs live on tour with The Locust, and I must first mention how badly my ears hurt during their set. I felt for a moment that I might fall apart right where I was standing. But upon the conclusion of their set I realized that this was more than just something that made my ears shatter. My first hint was introduced simply by the way they set up. All facing each other in a square with sheet music in front of them. This was not any ordinary band. There was more to this than just explosive noise, there was talent.
Zs takes post minimalism to a new level. They explore an immense range of musical approaches. Each approach speaks for itself in saying, We know how to play, and play well. Ranging from rock, to jazz, to noise and back to rock again, Zs has a unique way of grasping the listener. Where to some their post-minimalist approach may come off as annoying, it tends to balance itself in an amazing manner. While listening, it is almost amazing to consider that they are holding themselves together. The songs range from well constructed, to random outbursts barely holding melody. Yet still, it creates a compound of immense musicianship. Explosions of energy are tangled within every song, yet their sound ranges from epic journeys to almost chaotic doomsday messages, particularly in No Body Wants to be Had Balk. This unique sound allows them to communicate in a wide range of environments. It is not hard to imagine Zs in an orchestra hall, while at the same time seeing them in a basement or loft; mainly because their song verity is so wide. They can be soft for one song, and totally ear damaging on the next.
Their sound is bass less, adding another significant challenge. Many bands have approached the no bass task; however, Zs takes it into a new level. Bass is no longer necessary.
As you might have guessed, Zs may not be for everyone, but it is certainly meant for any musician to hear. Arms is an incredible display of musician ship, and a incredible taste of the direction music is getting its mucky hands into. Where once power chords were the main focus of good music, now the technically is more than just showing off. Its an art yet to be explored by the masses.
Arms is one of the most unique and under appreciated albums of the year. If you are blessed with the chance to see them live or pick up their album, do it. It will be an experience of a lifetime, and one to never be forgotten.
The Locust, Noise, Parts And Labor, 2001: A Space Odyssey
7.9 / 10
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