First Appeared at The Music Box, April 1998, Volume 5, #4
Written by John Metzger
Zero is back — this time with a self-titled studio album that focuses less on jams and more on songwriting. The last outing's shortest song was nearly seven minutes long, but this disc takes the band's outstanding musicianship and tightens things up into a neatly packaged set. Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, alterations or edits, this Bay-area ensemble manages once again to bring the lyrics of Robert Hunter to life.
Zero kicks off with the funky groove of Pits O' Thunder, which yields to a superb cover of Van Morrison's Friday's Child, with its Bob Dylan-like twist thanks to keyboardist Chip Roland. Roll Me Over features the gentle guitar textures of Steve Kimock and the beautiful vocal stylings of Judge Murphy. Sun Sun Sun captures the sound of Santana as Kimock captures Carlos Santana's classic sound with amazing precision. The song also features an outstanding saxophone solo by Martin Fierro. In fact, throughout the disc, Fierro adds a jazzy touch as only he can, and though his solos are generally short, they seem to come at precisely the right moment while packing just the proper amount of emotional punch. ½
Zero / self-titled is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1998 The Music Box