It was exactly one year ago that I had the pleasure of discovering Manchester punk/rock band Zsilent Z through reviewing a two track demo they had just recorded. The duo of songs Ordinary Joe’ and Twenty Miles were basic especially in production but showed great promise for the band with their undemanding punk sound. One year on and the band has shown with the trio of tracks that make up the Menace demo that they have evolved with strength and craft to take that early promise much further forward if still not to its final destination.
The music the band offers has not evolved too far from the first songs, it is still an unashamed blunt and eager pleasuring of the ear but now it is a much tighter and better crafted vehicle with which to run down the senses. The songs within Menace have a defined punch that was missing previously. They are not violent but have a certain aggression that makes one take notice and allow the abrasive melodies and acute ideas to bring their wickedness. The songs are still relatively uncomplicated but offered with a flair that engages and bristles with a welcoming taunting ease over the ear.
Happy Days is the most accessible track with its primitive and instinctive rhythms. The bass of Joe Nee and Freddie Pitts drums, hypnotic as they trigger ones natural beats. The guitar of Deaglan ORourke flashes behind this rhythmic drive before flaring up with some scorched melodies and hooks. As before vocalist Sean Gibson bounds into and through songs with his wonderful slightly uncultured tones adding an extra definition to the power of the song, of all their songs. His delivery is a cross between Jamie Lenman, Charlie Harper and Thomas Mensforth (Mensi) from Reuben, UK Subs and 70s punks Angelic Upstarts respectively, bands the sound of Zsilent Z also conjures with at times. The song is a slight departure to the music heard from the band so far and works a treat.
He Who Fights and Tasmanian Devil make up the rest of the Menace demo. The first is a riotous punk flare up with a good bluesy guitar poking its nose in from time to time. It dips into subdued moment though it is just building up the intensity and anticipation to the barracking elsewhere within the song. Crashing guitar, rampant drums, a bass that scowls with its lines, and Gibson brutalising vocally it is an excellent punk effort.
The second of the two is similar in style to He Who Fights but with more distinct flavours from the band’s individual contributions. They bring it all together with the essential group shouts and the belligerent sound of punk contempt to again pull off another song that riles up enthusiasm for more. As with the other tracks it fires up nostalgia for the great 70s punk bands but lines it with a defined modern touch of the band’s very own.
Zsilent Z as well as the bands mentioned, remind of older bands The Lurkers and Dangerous Girls and a contemporary in Houdini within what is a distinct flavouring of their own. The progression from the first contact with the band is impressive and exciting and even though production here is also far better, one knows there is even more within the band’s current sound that is waiting to be unleashed. The thought of that and what is yet to come from the band ahead is thrilling and the wait for more probably impatient.