RANDOM REVIEWS

Zoom Helium Octipede
(Tim Kerr)

Remember a few years ago when people would venture to Winston-Salem to record at Mitch Easter's Drive-In Studio? Well, it seems this quartet of hard 'n' heavy slackers came all the way from Portland, Oregon, to record at Greg Sage's Zeno Studios in Phoenix. It was worth the trip. Though much of Sage's production displays Sub Pop sensibilities, there's a refreshing lack of distortion. Those fond of obscure, Nuggets-era garage rockers should find the furious strumming of "Emphedrine Breakfast" to their liking. And if it's story songs ya want, dig "Letter From Allan," in which the Zoom boys set their disgruntled neighbor's begging letter to music ("I've told you before/A residential neighborhood is not the place to practice for a band"). To be in their rehearsal space when they first played this tune would've been worth a king's ransom.

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