Release Date: Mar 26, 2012
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Roots Rock, Power Pop
Zeus deliver more of their rambling pop/rock with a slight country twang on their sophomore 2012 album, Busting Visions. Once again centered around Broken Social Scene singer/songwriter Jason Collett, Zeus bring to mind a mix of the Beatles meet the Band-style folk-rock. To these ends, we get the blues-rock leadoff cut "Are You Gonna Waste My Time?," the T.
ZEUS play the Horseshoe Friday (March 23) and Sonic Boom Saturday (March 24) as part of CMW. Rating: NNNN The first time I heard Zeus, I dismissed them as a Beatles-obsessed retro act. That's not inaccurate, but weeks later, when I couldn't stop listening to their 2010 debut, Say Us, I had to admit that, though shamelessly derivative, they'd come up with a highly addictive collection of well-crafted pop songs.
Zeus emerged from the primordial ooze of the Toronto music world in 2010, releasing their studio debut Say Us while simultaneously serving as Broken Social Scene's Jason Collett's backing band. Say Us was an easily digestible collection of pop, rock and folk; the influence of classic touchstones like the Beatles, the Stones and other '60s and '70s heavyweights was readily apparent. Canadian listeners enjoyed Zeus' back to basics rock enough to garner the band a long-list nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, Canada's foremost award for homegrown musical talent.
At this point in their young career, Toronto-based indie rock quartet Zeus have done everything they could reasonably be asked to do. They’ve signed with a well-established label in Arts and Crafts. They’ve toured and made friends with the likes of Belle & Sebastian, Metric, and Broken Social Scene. Their debut full-length, 2010’s Say Us, earned them a nomination for that year’s Polaris Music Prize and, more importantly, a nice little pocket of fans eager to hear whatever they do next.
By fine-tuning a mix of sweet pop rock and determined guitar chops on their second album, Busting Visions, Zeus has become more focused and, in turn, more enjoyable; this is the one that’ll bring the band’s sound into its own. You can’t call their brand of rock heavy and hard so much as energetic and ear-grabbing. Brewing cavalier pop with hushed funk, Zeus at times emulates both French pop-rock masterminds Phoenix and the less alt-country iterations of Blitzen Trapper with their fun class of jumpy rock.
ZeusBusting Visions[Arts & Crafts; 2012]By FM Stringer; March 27, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGI'm still not completely sure what a “busting vision” is, exactly. As far as titles go, this one is clunky but feels appropriate belonging to a product channeling a certain degree of indulgence: a low-budget pornography or an album by a band that really wants you to find them psychedelic, for example. In a lot of ways, a title is the first line of that which is communicated by a piece of art, and when it’s good it prepares its audience for consumption and accumulates further meaning upon digestion.
The sophomore album from Toronto, ON's Zeus, Busting Visions opens with "Are You Gonna Waste My Time?" It's the question every music fans throws at the follow-up to a beloved debut. Here the album replies, 14 straight times, with a resounding "No!" One of the most economical classic rock-reviving bands, Zeus avoid indulgent jamming, filler material or ill-advised experiments. Just 14 blissful tunes, rich with influences – a little Supertramp here ("Stop the Train"), a little Hollies there (album highlight "With Eyes Closed") – from corners of rock radio not yet overplayed.
Contrary to what Saturday Night Fever would have you believe, the 1970s weren’t all about disco. Sure, you could hear the Bee Gees on most FM channels, but just a radio dial turn away was the bastion of Americana: At any given time, the sweet sounds of Springsteen and John Mellencamp could be heard floating from the cheap plastic of a car stereo. Arguably, heartland rock ended up beating disco in the race to establish a long-term cultural legacy—if you need proof, just look at the ginormous crowds the Boss has been drawing on his most recent tour.