Creating a flavoursome and captivating fusion of alternative and punk rock with a power pop vivacity, Israeli rockers Zoo Harmonics may not set the passions blazing but certainly with new album Business In The Front…Party In The Back, they leave a very healthy and hungry for more appetite in its wake. There are no major surprises within the sound and body of the release but equally there is plenty which is refreshingly inventive and individual to the Tel Aviv quartet to make them a compelling work in progress.
Written and recorded across 2012 with producer John Goodmanson (Blond Redhead, The Blood Brothers), Business In The Front…Party In The Back contains eleven tracks which roar and mischievously tease with accomplished invention and slightly warped imagination. It instantly and continually backs up the reputation the band has forged since forming through their live presence at home and across the UK and Europe. The band’s sound has been referenced to the likes of Bayside, Brandtson, No Use For A Name, and Lagwagon, something the album does confirm though we would suggest they are more akin to Russian punks/rockers Biting Elbows with a devilish squeeze of System Of A Down for good measure.
The album swiftly slams into ears and attention with Stemweder Open Air, the opener rife with scythes of acidic riffs across thumping rhythms ridden by the strong vocals of Dror Goldstein. It is potent and infectious bait which subsequently relaxes without losing its urgency and lure into a melodic shuffle with country twanged banjo. It is a mild twist though in the relentless stomp and energy of the song, the guitars of Goldstein and Ron Minis expelling catchy riffs and hooks whilst the bass of Tal Levi provides a great throaty tempting and enterprise. It is a song which dares feet and emotions to remain unaffected by its irrepressible contagion, something neither is able to do of course.
The great start is matched by Henry & Claire, another catchy web of spiky hooks aligned to anthemic rhythmic enticement from drummer Priel Horesh. Equally there is a melodic mellowness and warmth which has its say within the track’s otherwise riveting agitation of sound and ideation, everything combining for a second thrilling and potent anthem to put the pressure on the next up Awake At Night to emulate. Though it lacks the spark of the first pair, the song still strolls with an unrelentingly catchy and inviting countenance to capture ears and imagination before the slightly rawer presence of Ipek makes its play for attention. It is a strong and pleasing track but offering little to set it apart from the pack, unlike its predecessors. Nevertheless it is a thoroughly enjoyable tempting to feet and appetite just as its successor Bring Me Back, a pop punk canter with quickly accessible charm and energy cast in a less intensive presence which as the previous song, keeps the album’s party feistily alive.
The opening of Butterfly does not quite convince, guitar and vocal alone attempting to lure in the listener but once the band explodes with a blaze of sinew driven beats and fiery riffs, the track is a fiercely enticing proposition wrapped in the rich individual and group vocals of the band. It twists and flirts with intriguing ideation and open enterprise to make an enthralling and impressing imaginative offering, a triumph straight away matched by the excellent Club Sin(atra), a song with a loud whisper of Red Hot Chili Peppers, certainly to its entrance, and a feel of Smashmouth to its emerging creative tango.
On My Own launches its engrossing drama and ingenuity with immediate agitated relish. Its entrance charges into the passions with an urgent addictiveness lying somewhere between My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, before weaving and flirting with a stunning mesh of ideas and gripping adventure right up to its final note. The best track on the album, it leaves a lofty benchmark for the rest of the album to match and the band to emulate in their journey ahead.
All Amazing Songs takes the touch task to follow the peak in its stride and straight away forges its own heights, bass and vocals from an opening bright flame of sound, prowling with emotive tension and drama over thoughts and passions. It is a bewitching track with aggression and elegance all boiled up into another unpredictable and anthemic tempest. As the earlier mentioned Biting Elbows, Zoo Harmonics have the knack and ability to write and sculpt truly magnetically unpredictable and inventive songs just not on the same consistent level. What they can do with unrelenting skill is create attractive and infectious propositions as shown by their album and the final pair of songs. He Wishes He Knew is a radiant and melodically seductive croon which holds full reign over ears and emotions from start to finish whilst closer Romania is simply an addictive stomp regaling in the exploits of touring the source of its title.
Both make a varied and highly enjoyable finale to an album which from start to finish leaves a heavily satisfied pleasure in its wake and at times reaches heights which suggests that Zoo Harmonics has the skills and ingenuity to become a big inspiring player in global punk. As suggested surprises may be rare on Business In The Front…Party In The Back but fun and thrills are bulging assets of the album.
Business In The Front…Party In The Back is available via Pet Harmony Records now @ http://zooharmonics.com/?audio=business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from