Release Date: Oct 16, 2015
Record label: Relapse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Neo-Prog, Prog-Rock
For decades, the theme from the film Halloween has been about as well-known as a piece of music can get, but it's only lately that iconic horror filmmaker John Carpenter has embraced the spotlight as an electronic musician and quote-unquote composer. Listen to any record by the one-time Pittsburgh-based duo Zombi, though, and it's obvious that keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Moore and drummer A.E. Paterra wear their film-geek affinities on their sleeve.
The instrumental duo returns from hiatus with a new LP of hard-driving prog and '80s horror/sci-fi score-inflected tracks; it's their first of several written live in the studio, giving it an immediacy that their two preceding records lacked. The eight-minute-plus sprawl of "Interstellar Package" is the real deal. (www.zombi.us) .
Inspired by a stint opening for Italian prog rock legends Goblin on their first ever North American tour, Pittsburgh duo Zombi have returned to the stripped-down setup of their early albums, with Steve Moore doing double duty on bass guitar and analog synthesizers and A.E. Paterra holding down the drum kit. Prior to the Goblin tour in 2013, the duo hadn't played live since 2007 and took advantage of the capabilities of studio recording, adding an extra layer of multi-tracked guitars to 2009's Spirit Animal and embracing their Italo-disco side on the more dancefloor-ready Escape Velocity (2011).
For those late to the game, Zombi have been writing, recording and releasing superior albums for over a decade but have not issued new material in four years, leaving hardcore fans in a bit of an uncomfortable spot after 2011’s Escape Velocity. Where had Zombi gone? Would Zombi return? We need not have worried it turns out because Steve Moore and Anthony Paterra have given us more reason than ever to embrace their music. Call it darkwave, post rock, progressive film music or whatever you want, this is the kind of music that brings together heart and microprocessors, the age of technology with the primitive, man-make-fire emotions that allow the music to be loose, unencumbered by over-intellectualization or over-production.
Perseverance is weapon A in the modern musicians' armoury. Audiences are overfed, unmotivated to part with their money for music and all too willing to flit from artist to artist in search of the next rush of blood. Loyalty is thin on the ground. The fact groups without sufficient profile to harvest a modest living from touring make it beyond more than a couple of long-players is mostly due to ego or - in the case of Zombi duo Steve Moore and AE Paterra, both individually and collectively - undiluted compulsion.