A friend of mine was staying with me last weekend. We were hanging out, talking a little about music as I am prone to do. These days I consider myself a musical hobbyist (rather than performer), so I feel like I can be brutally honest about what shit I like, and what I think is shit. Essentially because nobody gives a shit what I think in this department. Anyway I got into talking about today’s music climate, which is obviously going to skew negative for me. The gist of it being, why would I listen to music made for babies when I can readily access music of high concentration and compositional execution? Right? My friend asked me if I was referring to the Dirty Projectors -who I like- but no I was mostly referring to the band Zs: Specifically my favorite composition of theirs – The Hard EP.
The Hard EP in my mind, rates as one of the most important and rigorously constructed rock compositions in the HISTORY OF ALL ROCK MUSIC. It inhabits a special place in my fantasies of an alternate timeline where rock music never moved backward from its inception, and only moved forward. Their sound in this era (2008) seemed to stem from the Louis Andriessen school of hard hitting minimalism, except with an addition of super masculine, post punk energy – and a sort of fascist military vibe that was super apparent in their early live performances where they seated themselves symmetrically, dressed in all black and wore arm bands. It gave them a frightening presence that sort of made me feel like I was watching concentrated evil express itself perfectly.
Anyway – Zs is still active but their sound keeps changing in ways that I connect to a bit less. I believe this is due to the departure of Charlie Looker – who definitely took the scary fascist thing to another level with his leather-horror-Irish-folk-doom-prog band Extra Life. So if you want to check out what the top of human creation has to offer, check out this Zs track.
Here’s a funny clip of Zs more recently (2013). I dig this stuff too. The drummer is sick. There’s a nice ebb and flow to the first jam, but overall it doesn’t blow me away as much as their mid 00’s era.