Thursday, June 07, 2012

Zulu Winter: "Language" (album review)

One of the most buzzed-about acts to come out of the UK so far this year are London's Zulu Winter.  The band's new album, Language, comes out in North America on June 19th.

The album opens with the sprawling progressive rock of "Key To My Heart", an expansive track that has far too much void.  "We Should Be Swimming" is a slick, stylish number, sterilized by way too much production.  Think Coldplay meets Glasvegas.  Not a pretty thought.

Tempo is another issue on Language.  Nearly every track is stuck in the same mid-tempo rut.  The lack of energy is infuriating on tracks like "Small Pieces".  They are so sluggish you will find yourself fighting the urge to play the tracks in fast forward.

There are some moments that provide reason for optimism.  Again and again 'Hey' bursts forth like little explosions in a vacuum of "Bitter Moon".  The unusual rapid stutter-step refrain of "Let's Move Back To Front" demonstrates that the band does possess the ability to come up with something innovative.

In respect to Language, the hype seems all that: just empty hype.  In reality, the record is overly earnest, lackadaisical, over-produced, hook-less and unremarkable offering.

Zulu Winter play The Rivoli in Toronto on June 14th and Lee's Palace on June 15th as part of NXNE.

Best tracks: "Bitter Moon", "Let's Move Back To Front"

Track listing for Language:
  • Key To My Heart
  • We Should Be Swimming
  • Bitter Moon
  • Small Pieces
  • Silver Tongue
  • You Deserve Better
  • Let's Move Back To Front
  • Moments Drift
  • Words That I Wield
  • Never Leave
  • People That You Must Remember

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