Release Date: Oct 9, 2015
Record label: The End
The resurrection of The Zombies has been one of the more satisfying comebacks of recent years, with 1968’s Odessey & Oracle receiving its rightful acclaim as a classic of its era and Time Of The Season popping up anywhere from Mad Men to being sampled by Eminem. 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In heralded the return of singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent as a viable musical force. They’ve now created an album which towers above the nostalgia market which could easily have been their fate.
Eminem’s favourite 60s baroque popsters. For a band who formed in 1961 (in St Albans, no less), and only had one UK hit – She’s Not There - The Zombies have one hell of a reputation. It largely rests on that 1964 hit, and 1968’s Odessey & Oracle, a classic of post-Sgt Pepper pop (it was recorded in Abbey Road as The Fabs were finishing Pepper).
When the Zombies sang "This Will Be Our Year" in 1967, they were selling themselves short — they're still going nearly 50 years after their eerily psychedelic U.K. chamber-pop elegy Odessey and Oracle fused Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper into a lost classic. The Zombies have long since shed their pristine Sixties style; on their first album in four years, Still Got That Hunger, Rod Argent's piano and Colin Blunstone's vocals go for a more straightforward blues-rock sound.
While the 2011 album Breathe Out, Breathe In was cautiously billed as "The Zombies featuring Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent," four years later, this new edition of the group is confident enough to simply call themselves the Zombies, though with Jim Rodford from Rod's post-Zombies combo on bass, they could also bill themselves as Argent in a pinch. And with its bluesy swagger and big guitar figures, the opening cut on Still Got That Hunger, "Moving On," sounds significantly more like Argent than the band that cut "She's Not There" or "Time of the Season. " The next tune, "Chasing the Past," is much closer to what most Zombies fans would probably hope for, with Argent's precise, imaginative piano work and Blunstone's vocals recalling the spirit of the Zombies' masterpiece Odessey & Oracle, and the group is clearly hoping to jog the memories of their old fans -- the cover art not only apes the look of the Odessey & Oracle sleeve, a figure in the painting is even holding a copy of the 1968 classic.
Who would’ve thought that in 2015 there would be an album of all new material by the Zombies, nearly 50 years after they imploded prior to the release of the baroque pop masterpiece Odessey and Oracle? Sure 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In was technically their return to the recording world, but that album was billed as “The Zombies featuring Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent”. Here they make no bones about it: this is a Zombies album through and through. At least that’s what the title would have us believe.
This isn’t the first time the Zombies have looped themselves back into the conversation on contemporary music. It’s not even the first time this decade. The English rock band’s new album, Still Got That Hunger, follows 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In, a quietly nostalgic piece that marked the band’s fourth record since originally breaking up in the late ‘60s.