The Blazing Zoos
British Insurgent Country is on the Rise!
With more than a not to the Underground Pop-Artists of the 1960’s this al;bum cover is more than a little bit eye catching; and goes more than a little way to hinting at the music contained inside.
I was hooked within 30 seconds of the quirky Country guitar intro to opening track Roy Rogers Jr. ; an ode inspired by memories of seeing the actor/singer when the Blazing Zoo’s Andrew Mueller was a child in Missouri; and it’s a great way to start the album.
The first time I heard track #2, It’s Your Own Time You’re Wasting, a big electric light bulb lit up over my head as I realised that it sounds uncannily like a hybrid of The Waco Brothers and The Old 97’s; two of my favourite ever bands and leaders of the Insurgent Country Movement.
That irreverent Country sound prevails throughout; and I was thoroughly enjoying every single minute; picturing the guitarists strutting their stuff on stage when blasting out Bob Chitty’s Blues and On My Own.
Just as I was getting into ‘the groove’ a serious curve ball was thrown out of the shadows in left field with the Bakersfield romp Brighter With Your Love; as it’s a girl singing; and boy can she sing! With a quintessentially English voice usually more associated with Folk-Rock; Lara Pattison sounds just at home in a Honky-Tonk as this song proves.
While I’d not heard of the Blazing Zoos prior to receiving this album (their second); they certainly sound battle-hardened on I’ll Be Here All Week and (already) a RMHQ favourite….Country Drinking Song; and I can’t wait to see and hear them belt them out at somewhere like the Jumping Hot Club at the Cluny on a Friday or Saturday night when the beer is going down like oxygen.
While I love the album as a complete work; two tracks stand out like pimples on a virgins chin; final track Sergeant Small; an Australian Folk song set to a swaggering tsch-tsch Country stomping beat and the homage to Faron Young’s It’s Four in the Morning; Still Up at Five. The original was one of the first Country 45’s I ever owned; and this lovely ditty runs Prefab Sprout’s 1988 broken hearted, Faron Young a good race.
There you have it; a fabulous Alt/Insurgent/Urban/Anti Country album that tastes and smells and tastes of Nashville and Bakersfield and Chicago…..but comes to you straight from the mean streets of London, England and will become a firm family favourite in both yours and my homes for years to come.
Released March 31st 2016