October 4, 2001

Test Spins: Zen Guerrilla

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A nonstop barrage of blues-metal riffs and screamed vocals, Zen Guerrilla’s third release is certainly not an easy listen. But the band’s sheer unfaltering energy makes this a worthy album for those in need of some rough Zeppelin riffing.

On the first two tracks, the guitars are raw and abrasive, and the vocals sound like they’re being sung through a megaphone. But “Staring Into Midnite,” a definite highlight, starts with some bluesy singing over heavy rock guitar, punctuated by a pounding punk bridge. “Captain Infinity” features more punchy riffs with Mick Jagger-ish vocals over the fast-paced assault.

The band only slows down and calms down once, for the warm, laidback “Evening Sun.” Immediately afterwards, the record kicks back into high gear with the Jon Spencer-inspired mess of “5th & Cecil B.” Though they don’t have the most original or diversified sound, Zen Guerrilla do provide a refreshingly straightforward and entertaining rock n’ roll party album.

Archived article by Ed Howard