Like Paul Haig meets Modern English in a creative hug with The Slow Readers Club, Zurich has a sound which leaves you awash with welcome nostalgia and invention soaked freshness. The proof comes via debut EP Small Wars; five tracks of post punk and eighties electro pop bred temptation infused into a fiery rock heart. At times rousingly anthemic and in other moments warmly intimate, the EP is a compelling introduction to the UK trio, one which early on had thoughts moulding the assumption that the Oxford hailing band is heading towards to major things.
Consisting of bassist/vocalist Adrian Banks, guitarist/vocalist Chris Gillett, and drummer Leigh Taylor, Zurich since emerging in the July of 2014 has built an impressive reputation for their live presence and sound in the always busy Oxford music scene. Now the whole of Britain gets to hear why with the Gary Stevenson produced Small Wars; an encounter which captivates from its first touch and just gets bigger and bolder in its persuasion and adventure thereon in.
The release opens with Chemical, a song making a low key but instantly engaging entrance as atmospheric synths and melodies entice from the distance; coming closer with every passing second before rhythms and scythes of sultry guitar break loose to further spark ears and imagination. Already memories are basking in older essences as the appetite latches on to the robustly vocal textures of a fiercer but no less warm modern vivacity and invention. In no time the track is strolling along with infectiousness dripping from its every chord and rolling beat, their tempting matched by the excellent vocals of Banks and Gillett. The track is an instant friend, one you feel you know but only bringing new adventure and enjoyment the way of ears and emotions. Anthemic pop at its best, the song is a thrilling and commanding early persuasion from the EP, one masterfully backed by Alone.
The second track jabs with punchy beats as a guitar dangles its melodic bait initially in front of ears, a coaxing which maintains its potency and clarity as rhythms and more guitar swiftly add new eager energy and spice. A slower but still lively enticing compared to its predecessor, its canter bounces along drawing quick involvement physically as strings and a thick weave of keys build and unite in a highly provocative proposal for the imagination to get fully involved in. Once more vocals and individual prowess shines as openly as the collective enterprise in a song which as good as glows as it incites body and heart.
Small Wars offers its title track next, a smouldering croon with tenacious beats and a melancholy toned bassline which play against and with the lighter but equally emotive melodies of keys and guitars. Strings once more add further drama and emotional intimacy to the heartfelt dance of the song’s croon whilst its chorus just gets into the psyche from its first call, all aspects creating another major highlight of the EP before Invisible Man takes over with its own creative theatre. Straight away it offers melodic resourcefulness within a feisty serenade which can only be called Black like, the song growing and exceling as emotion packed sinews and inventive drama continue to blossom.
The EP is brought to a fine close by Menace; a pulsating shimmer of guitar and creeping keys its opening tempting and climatic beats and vociferously sultry endeavour it’s subsequent and gripping majesty. The bass of Banks is compelling in tone and expression whilst the rapier and adventurous rhythms of Taylor ignites the air around the increasingly volatile and imaginative journey of the song. Add relentlessly mesmeric keys and guitar craft which just rises to the occasion whilst pushing that same moment to new enthralling heights, you have one blaze of brilliance to complete an encounter just as constantly impressive.
Zurich is not a name which leaps out and grabs or indeed sticks in the memory as powerfully as maybe others but it does not need to when the band’s sound definitely does. Small Wars declares that fact and fair to say because of it we are already impatient to hear what the band comes up with next.
The Small Wars EP is available digitally from Kestrel Records on September 21st via the band’s Bandcamp.
Pete RingMaster 21/09/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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