The first step is always the hardest, and while the members of Phoenix's Zero Zero have been busy the past four months — writing songs to fill an album, generating international indie radio airplay, and making a video — the "electro fuzz" trio has yet to step on a stage. That changes Friday with an album-release party. Singer Nicole Laurenne and guitarist Michael Johnny Walker formed Zero Zero while on hiatus from the Love Me Nots, adding drummer Nick Ramirez. Experimenting with "synth-ier ideas," garage-rock guitars, minimalist drumming, electro-pop elements, hip-hop, floaty vocals, and "whatever grabbed us" entered the mix. "We basically poured our instincts onto the tracks and tried not to second-guess ourselves too much," Laurenne says. While the single "Drug" offers a raw edge in a pop-infused melody over Laurenne's breathy femme fatale vocals, "Tear It Up" is a starker, gritty experience of fuzz and fur and sinister undertone like a soundtrack for a '60s cop show. "Zero Zero's overall sound is pretty modern, but it also has a lot of elements that come directly from retro influences," Laureene says. "It's a product of being here in the 21st century, listening to what's going on now, but remembering how we got here."
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