For untold eons, mankind has been burdened with queries of infinite significance. Why are we here? Is there a life after death? And how did reality come into being? But now, in an era of technological advancements beyond the imagining of early man, a humble indie rock trio dares to answer one of the most infinitely significant questions in all of creation: is there such a thing as a name that’s too silly?
The humorously-named band that I am talking about is EagleWolfSnake, a group that presumably drew inspiration from the slurred ramblings of a drunken zoologist. After devoting the better part of the two days to Zang!, their new 8-track LP, I can confidently say that their name may be strange, but their music is wonderfully fun. I’ve bobbed my head and tapped my foot throughout the whole album, and it’s an easy recommendation for rock fans who want something fun and listenable, and who are prepared for an album that can feel pretty “same-y.”
Zang! has a Talking Heads-esque flavor, thanks in large part to the vocals and the general feel of the album. Every track features punchy and rhythmic vocals that seem halfway between singing and shouting. But Zang! has appeal beyond stylistic similarities to The Talking Heads, and it’s all in how the songs are put together. Every track is fun and upbeat, and it’s thanks to the constant sense of motion across the guitar, bass, and drums, combined with the powerful and melodically simple vocals. For example, in “Valley,” the album’s second track, the drummer keeps up a good beat without overshadowing the other components of the song. Meanwhile, the vocals and guitar trade off time in the spotlight. The singer sings over sustained chords, but the guitar takes center stage in between the vocals. However, during the chorus of the song, the singing is done over more rhythmic guitar strumming, and in the song’s bridge, everything syncs up on rhythmic hits. The payoff is that the song sounds incredibly cohesive and ceaselessly energetic, a statement that describes every track on Zang!
Unfortunately, like Rocky Balboa, Zang! can’t win ‘em all. The album’s “Apollo Creed” is a sense of sameness in every song. While each individual track is great, they are all so similar stylistically, the charms of EagleWolfSnake’s fun and quirky music gradually wears thin. With only 8 tracks, it’s possible that your first listen might not be tainted with a hint of boredom, but on repeat listens, your ears may grow tired of EagleWolfSnake’s sound.
Despite a nagging sense of similarity, Zang! is still a powerfully fun album, especially on the first listen. It’s full of foot-tappingly good tunes. EagleWolfSnake has created an album that’s perfect for spicing up a dull car ride or a quiet afternoon. Zang! is fun and accessible, and well worth a listen.
*Images from EagleWolfSnake.com