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Zerfas

Zerfas

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Album Review

Zerfas' only and very obscure album is uneven but fairly worthy just-post-psychedelia, and actually one of the better (and certainly least heralded) attempts to tap into a late-'60s Beatles sort of vibe, albeit one that has a sadder tinge than the original article. As with all such efforts, be aware right away that this is a stylistic and not a qualitative comparison; it's not nearly on the level of the White Album, and actually not all of the cuts are heavily Beatles-influenced. As it happens, however, the songs where the Beatles-ish vocal harmonies and guitar textures are emphasized are the best ones, like "The Sweetest Part," which is a little like George Harrison's All Things Must Pass-meets-Badfinger. Maybe you can add a little of the most Beatlesque Move into the equation for "I Don't Understand," though that cut has a delicious artificial-sounding fluttery wobble to the instrumentation and cathedral organ that aren't explicitly imitative of anyone. Weird backwards and spaceship-emulative effects are sprinkled throughout the album, and not always to a good end; the forced demonic joviality of the opening "You Never Win" is a rather misleading opener, for instance, that might turn off some listeners who'll quite like some of the rest of it. On the whole, there are some quite respectable fusions of late American psychedelia with late-'60s/early-'70s British psych-prog, with decent knacks for pleasing melodies, good vocal harmonies, and focused arrangements with a touch of odd spaciness.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

The little-known Indianapolis band Zerfas put out one self-released album in 1973 that, in the manner of many such records of the era with limited distribution, sounded a few years behind the times in its emulation of the late psychedelic epoch. By the standards of such private pressings, however, it was considerably above average. At its best, the reasonably strong original material had echoes of both the late-period Beatles and Beatles-influenced bands like Badfinger and the Move. They were a little...
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Zerfas, Zerfas
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