Desperation Blues Review from Metal News Online!

Posted: April 29, 2013 in ZED
Tags: , , , ,

By Jason Zins

You ever start playing some new tunes and get that deja vu feeling?  It takes you right back to a good place in life?  I was completely taken aback upon my first listen of ZED‘s Desperation Blues.  I was immediately taken back to my youth and the start of my metal/rock roots.  Led Zeppelin and a touch of AC/DC. It’s  the blues; dirty, in-your-face blues.

ZED is a very talented group of musicians hailing from the Bay Area of California.  These guys are out to prove that playing stripped-down, balls-to-the-wall rock-n-roll can still be relevant.  And they do it well. I hear a ton of different influences here, ranging from the two aforementioned bands, to Clutch and Queens of the Stone Age.; however, they never sound exactly like any of these bands.  It’s like the perfect meld of their influences.

“Please” is a showcase of the heavy end of what these guys can do.  Pete Sattari‘s vocals can be smooth like butter, or sharp like a razor blade.  It just reeks of dirty blues, booze, and a shithole strip clubs.  The rhythm team of Mark Aceves on bass and Rich Harris on drums are tight; it almost feels effortless and floating.  “Skin and Bones” is a rolling and thundering adventure in the blues where Pete really showcases his vocal talents.  He and Greg Lopez share guitar duties and they are just as tight as the rhythm section.  I really like the way these guys transition into the song breaks.  Their songwriting skills really shine.

What really impresses me is the ability of these guys to shift from all out ass kickers like the aforementioned songs, “Killing Machine,” and “Settle The Score,” to the blues-aden songs like the title track and “The Empty Quarter,” and then to the beauty of “Rain and The River.”  Their ability to sound like a blues band or a stoner band or a combination both is stellar.  I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to this album in the last few weeks, and it is destined for a permanent spot in my playlists.

Sometimes a little blues is good for the soul.  I’ll end this with a quote from their bio, which sums up this whole album: “Great Rock and Roll doesn’t  just happen. It’s made. With sweat, swagger and alcohol. And ZED makes rock the way it should be made. Loud guitars, a shot of whiskey and a middle finger.”

Desperation Blues is out May 21 on i:and:i Recordings.

Rating: 5/5 stars

For over 25 years, Jason Zins has been involved in the music industry in one way or another. While his day job is a data analyst, his passion is music, and especially live music. Although he is open to most music, metal remains the staple in his musical diet. See more reviews and metal news at Thanks for the kind words, Jason!


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