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Zombie Picnic - 2016 - "A Suburb of Earth"

(38:25, ‘Golden Shred’)


1. The B141 Frequency 11:31
2. The Adamite Bomb 8:23
3. The Cylindrical Sea 7:43
4. The Rama Commitee 10:48


Dave Tobin – guitars 
James Griffin – guitars 
Brian Fitzgerald – bass  
Brendan Miller – drums 

Prolusion. The Irish band ZOMBIE PICNIC was formed in 2012, and, according to the musicians’ own description, "is a progressive post rock band from Limerick formed by 4 friends looking to explore the limits of a corrugated metal clad storage space". "A Suburb of Earth" is the band’s debut album, self-released via its own label Golden Shred Records in 2016.

Analysis. While one could possibly describe this Irish foursome in a number of different ways, up to and including that it is post something, this isn't a band I'd place directly inside a post-rock context as such. At least they aren't exploring this style of music in what I'd describe as a conventional manner. Personally I think they have just as close ties to psychedelic progressive rock, but in truth, this is a band I find to exist just a bit outside of the common conventions. This is an instrumental band, only using a spoken and possibly sampled voice to add some of the nuances a vocalist would have provided, which is effective in adding variation to the landscapes the band does explore. In that I find the band's main limitation as far as reach goes though, as this album may just be a bit too limited in scope to manage to get a greater appeal. The rhythm section is precise to the point of being mathematical throughout, and serves as a firm foundation both when the band explore gentler landscapes and when they shift gears and take on a rougher and more vibrant sound. They generally alternate between a handful of different arrangements throughout, with dream-laden, echoing layers of delicate guitar notes being on one extreme and twisted, rough and vibrant riffs on the opposite end, the latter aspect at times reminding me ever so slightly of The Fierce and The Dead. Most of the album revolves around the modes in between the extremes however, with firm guitars supporting gentler echoing details, with textured overlays on top of a firm foundation, with wandering and plucked guitar solo runs in harmony based runs, as well as with a supportive guitar mode of one kind or another, more often than not subtly dream-laden, pleasant and intriguing ear candy with a touch of psychedelic and possibly cosmic tendencies, but too often lacking a bit of edge, a bit more variation, arrangements that by and large create more of an impact. As with most other good albums made today, this is also a production that will have its audience of course. My impression is that at this stage, the reach of this band will be more of a limited one however.

Conclusion. Instrumental post-progressive rock that includes elements from psychedelic rock appears to be the name of the game of this Irish foursome, music of the kind I'd personally describe as post something, and that also features nods in the direction of both metal and jazz-rock at times, dream-laden, wandering atmospheres, alternating between gentler and firmer passages, with something of a mathematical feel at times, one to seek out by those fond of tight, instrumental progressive rock of the kind that possibly merits a placement inside a post something context.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: May 4, 2017
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Zombie Picnic


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