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After the Air Raid

Zevious

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Album Review

If your thing musically is the prototypical, gnarly, and loud instrumental power trio, then Zevious should be right up your alley. Led by new electric guitar hero Mike Eber, this band should wipe the floor with any comparable group that dares to perform with such a bold, in-your-face posture. Though claiming various primal jazz fusion influences, the unmistakable sound of Robert Fripp and King Crimson from their trio period and the seminal album Red cannot be denied. You also hear the British Canterbury concept via Gary Boyle or Alan Holdsworth, a little bit of the progressive sound of the Muffins, and even pieces of Frank Zappa, the jazzier Jeff Beck and Robin Trower, or Gary Lucas creeping in alongside a punk attitude. With cousin/drummer Jeff Eber and bassist Johnny DeBlase (love that name) Zevious makes inroads toward establishing a new fusion amalgam in varying tones and shapes. Everything here is short, concise, and to the point, whether it be on the choppy flailing during "Come Cluster" and chord driven "iNCITING," the jarring noisy or alternately serene contrasts in "The Children & the Rats," the bass-shaded, underground, and litigious "That Ticket Exploded," and slowed, dank, unassuming, deliberate "Gradual Decay". Where Mike Eber's personal voicings come further to the surface on the goth power rocker "Mostly Skulls" with cleverly omitted measures, it is on the title track that he's in a diffuse and neo-laconic element, far beyond the pale. He's practically fluid in his steel-trap, deadly technique for "The Noose," straight-up funky on "Glass Tables," and evokes the snarly Fripp sound in a fast-paced "The Ditch." The opening track, "Where's the Captain?," gives a good indication that Robert Fripp's schizoid man, somewhat R&B-influenced, hard-edged, dark guitar is at the center of this trio's core. Listen to this recording and Red back to back to see if you don't agree with the parallel universe this band exists in. Where Zevious definitely suggests a Zen-like concept welded onto a deviated (or even devious) attitude, you'll find the music is fully realized, a terrible wholeness reflective of today's societal anxiety and tenseness released — nay shot out of a cannon — into the ether., Rovi

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Biography

Formed: 2006 in New York City, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Something happened to Zevious between the early-2008 self-release of their eponymous debut album and the arrival of their second album, After the Air Raid, issued by Cuneiform in 2009. The bandmembers went a little bonkers. What began as a quite fine creative jazz trio was apparently bitten by the same bug that chomped its mandibles into Robert Fripp circa King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red in the 1970s (or, if you prefer something of more recent vintage, pick...
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