ZED blisters and burns through ‘Desperation Blues’

Posted: June 12, 2013 in General Announcements, ZED, ZEDHEADS (Street Team)
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Check out this great review of Desperation Blues, thanks to Christopher Millard and Examiner.com:

It’s fair to label San Jose’s Zed a stoner metal band. The band has always carried an air of Southern-fried conflagration within their music. The aforementioned moniker may also pigeonhole the band in an inappropriate manner. On their latest, “Desperation Blues,” Zed shows listeners that they can tap their own blues veins a bit more exclusively, draw a bit deeper and build a variance of sound, without detracting from their core, musical beliefs.

You may not hear much stylistic difference between “Desperation Blues” and 2010’s “The Invitation” judging by the first few tracks. The album’s opener “Please” is a brutal, guttural display of hard riffage; they just do it better and harder, now. But the variations come within the breakdown of the blistering “Skin and Bones” and “Killing Machine” which lend to subtle harmonies ensconced in the choruses and breakdowns. “Skin and Bones” establishes a more psychedelic breakdown (ala Pink Floyd), while “Killing Machine” touts some Alice in Chains-esque, foreboding moments.

Songs like the wah-drenched main riff of “Desperation Blues” (smacks a bit of Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”) and “More” infuse a flavor of swankiness amidst the rock-hard jams, while a creeping darkness overtakes the bluesy, back porch stomp of “Crawl Back to You” and the slow build of “Rain” which showcases Zed’s increased stylistic range and musical maturity. Variance seeps from the Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) feel of the epic “The Empty Quarter – Settle The Score,” growing from a slow burn into an inferno, overtaking the records soundscape with an emphatic thrust.

Make no mistake, “Desperation Blues” is heavy as f*ck. But Zed’s form of ‘heavy’ goes beyond the riff, pulling at emotions and an energy that doesn’t rely on volume or sonic intensity. And though they’re a band fixed in high gear, they’re more than confident (and able) to downshift and grind out dark melodies when they see fit. Zed now has an upward trajectory to their musical career. “Desperation Blues” lives in that place of emotional form, creating a uniquely accessible collection of songs that can hit you like a double-shot of Jack or let the embers smolder on into the night.

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