After a fifteen-year delay the zzips are finally releasing their long awaited debut album. The band sound more than twenty years late, but are right on time as they have still managed to carve a niche in-between the genre lines on "20 Years Late." The vocals tell the songs stories with that lazy indie rock slackness to them. On a song like "Therapy" they take you back to 90s alternative combining electronic sounding drums with organic elements. This brand of blues is closer to Everlast than BB King or Howling Wolf. The record scratching even takes it all the way back to classic Beck. The hooks grow tighter on the smooth coast of "Bad Habits" which would make the perfect the soundtrack for a night drive on Mulholland. They have a wide range grooves to compliment the lyrics of course a song called "Scratch Cards and Junkies" would sound like a slithery slink not unlike Scott Wieland era Stone Temple Pilots.
The album keeps you on your toes, as "Murder By Mistake" is an unlikely ballad, its piano driven and bordering on Brit pop. The lyrics of "I killed a man/ completely by mistake" make out sympathetic to the killers perspective. They continue to dig deeper growing even more introspective despite the pace picking "All of My Everything", a breezy folk song for a rainy day and a bottle of wine. It's hard to believe these guys are from Sussex and not Orange County when it comes to the West Coast blue-eyed beach funk to “Weight In Gold”. There is a great deal of swagger to their take on alt-rock with "Venus". The band works well together, there are no shredders, just solid in the pocket playing, this is evident on the syncopated sections of "Ruination.com".
Some of these songs are more pop the rock in a similar way that Inxs was pop in their heyday. This is where pop doesn't have to be a bad word. The pop leanings are oddly set against some of the albums more blues drenched songs that begin to crop up latter in the album. Even then a song like the title track still has a smooth hook to its chorus. The harmonica takes this is a more down home direction despite the electronic beat that propels "You Just Don't Need Them". These guys are impressive songwriters they have a range of dynamics that mixes genres without sounding contrived, but still retain a signature sound in the process.
Not only are they gifted songwriters they are also prolific, as at sixteen songs (not counting the bonus track "No More Hits") it’s almost a double album by today's standards. Though lengthy the album moves fluidly so there is never a point where it drags and falls by the wayside to turn into background music. You don't have to wait for the July 21st release date, as there is a taste of what's to come from these guys below, so check out the single "We Could Be Anything" and mark your calendars for the official release.