Album Review: Zun Zun Egui – Katang

By on Friday, 25th November 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Sometimes you have to wonder how or why certain bands have appeal. Not because they’re bad (although this is sometimes the case), but down to the niche they fall into. Like it or not, indie is still King of the airwaves and we are still inundated with bucket-loads of checked shirt-wearing four-pieces who sing about that girl they once knew. But some bands are deviating slightly through some synth work or crazy vocal style, but some are pushing the boundaries off the top of a ten-storey building.

Zun Zun Egui are one of the country’s most exciting live bands and are yet to make a dent in the mainstream music press. The Bristol quartet are leading the way in progressive indie jazz (definitely not a made-up genre) through their offbeat drums, funky basslines and tongue-twisting vocals. Their debut release ‘Katang’ is just over 45 minutes of danceable quirkiness that is as confusing as it is intriguing.

The opener and title track is 6 and a half minutes of tribal drums, crazy vocals and above all incredibly interesting. There’s just so much going on through its many layers, you forget it’s only four people creating the kookiness that eventually transcends into a weird off-beat jam. The jazz influence is strong and keeps the music going as the track flows into the first instrumental interlude ‘Transport’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmpoD6Pm-YE[/youtube]

Instrumentally Zun Zun Egui are on par with the likes of Brontide and And So I Watch You From Afar. The big sounding, offbeat, odd tempo music is as fascinating as it is inspired. Whether it’s the overarching ambience of ‘Mr Brown’ or the bouncier ‘Cowboy’, the Bristolians are so passionate about their sound and so sure about how to create it, that it seems anything is possible with enough pitch changing and flailing.

Lead single ‘Fandango Fresh’ is on the edge of Talking Heads territory accompanied by more seemingly nonsensical lyrics about a “sexy worm”. The upbeat tempo and catchy (although at times indecipherable) vocals make for a great record that is structurally obscure yet still laden with enough hooks to drag you in and keep you there.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVvqLVedEKc[/youtube]

The album, though, is very much an album. Clocking in at 46 minutes and 18 seconds, it’s a medium-sized journey into minds of Zun Zun Egui who are ready to eradicate ‘normal’ music full force. It’s a brave record for a debut album, some bands aren’t this experimental during their fourth LP, let alone the deal-breaker. But this band already have the following. After constant touring up and down the UK, Zun Zun Egui’s status has expanded to one of the most talked about cult groups of the year which is only destined to grow with the frantic and fantastic ‘Katang’.

7/10

‘Katang’ by Zun Zun Egui is available now.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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