Zig Zags

Scavenger 7″
Mexican Summer

zig_zags_scavengerIt’s Valentine’s Day as I type this and what more to my ears crave more than ever right now? A band that have the psychedelic charge of Hawkwind with the rawness of Black Sabbath. Combined, this could sound like a lot of bands but Los Angeles based Zig Zags have made the past and present clash with filthy panache on A-side track ‘Scavenger’, and just enough goodness for me to spread this love and bring it to you today.

This 7″ that is available in your local record store and for download today has a tale of two sides. The B-side ‘Wastin My Time’ is more reminiscent of the type of jam that you will find spread all over the tunes of Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Stripped back guitars and upbeats pushing a laid back Stooges style vocal that keeps driving you all the way home aurally.

This 3-piece band are meant to be pretty raw live, so get on this 7″ from Mexican Summer today and spread the love if you like it. There’s also a 5 track EP below here for free download an EP from their bandcamp if you want more.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring

So Many Things
(Goner Records)

By all accounts 2011 was a quiet year for Melbourne, Australia’s ECSR, as they pulled up the handbrake, and retreated from the public eye. Their solitary release being a 12” (on Captcha Records) with the moody repetitive opus Walking in Unison being the only all new song. Word is that new material is in the pipeline, but in the meantime So Many Things has landed; a collection of singles, compilation tracks and general obscurities, 22 in all, and destined to plug some gaps in collections of all but the most obsessive audiophiles.

So yeah, you gotta listen to this album with its collective intention in mind, and respect that the dynamics alter from that of a straight studio album format. The levels vary and at times the fluidity gets off track but – regardless – the music is electric. You can dig that? Ok, then you’re sure as hell gonna dig this.

For me, the ECSR charm is in their simplicity, and ability to string out rocking classic numbers from the most primordial riffs, and rudimentary subject matter. They utilise the spirit of The Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers and The Stooges coupled with an injection of grubby punk attitude, that pays a debt to the likes of The Victims, Scientists and of course their hometown’s own Chosen Few, whose murder-punk staple T.A.L.O.I.G.A (as in “there’s a lot of it going around”) is executed in fine style.

You’ll also find a deconstructed reprise of Cleveland, Ohio’s Pagans (Boy, Can I Dance Good) and L.A.’s Go-Go’s good-time stomper We Got The Beat – although I preferred Poison Idea’s version to be honest. And then of course there are a slew of filthy raw ECSR originals to pollute our minds which turns up an opportunity to hear primitive versions of a few numbers that were later laid down to album – Get up Morning and Precious Rose especially (from their first LP) are stunners and the pulsating You Let Me Be Honest With You (from LP #2) is a plain rampaging stomper. It’s about zero degrees outside, but I have beams of warmth and sunshine being omitted from my speakers as this disc skips along.

To reiterate, Eddy Current Suppression Ring are possibly the greatest band in the world that you’ve never heard of. Go seek, and get your feet on the ground!

Pete Craven.