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Zip Tang - Luminiferous Ether CD (album) cover


Zip Tang


Eclectic Prog

3.71 | 37 ratings

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3 stars Chicago-based US act Zip Tang was found in 2003, after Perry Merritt and Richard Wolfe met each other at a local jam session.With Fred Faller on drums and Marcus Padgett on sax/keyboards the original Zip Tang line-up was formed (initially named RPM), playing covers of Steely Dan, Yes, The Allmann Brothers and Santana among others.The debut of the band ''Luminiferous Ether'' was released independently in 2007.

You can't accuse this quartet of one thing: being unoriginal.From the first couple of tracks you will face a band with its own sound, that is a unique blend of Psych/Alternative Rock with typical American vocals but also with a strong jazzy feel in the instrumental sections with powerful saxes and guitars and also elements from Funk and Soul in their beats.''Doctor Plush'' is another different-sounding track.A mix of Psychedelic and Space Rock with a very AOR-like chorus and once more strong jazzy leanings.''Like We Did Before'' is almost full FLOYD-ian with some good guitar breaks and solos, while ''Beta'' has an evident Fusion atmosphere with good guitar/sax interplays and trully atmospheric synthesizers.Not every track in here is succesful, as ''With a twist'' and ''Searching for treasure'' tend more to typical US Alternative Rock than anything prog, but even this way the band finds some space for some decent bluesy solos, not to mention the odd presence of mellotron sounds.Zip Tang make also an ambitious attempt of covering E.L.P.'s classic track ''Tarkus'' in a very unique way and partly manage to make out a sound of their own.There is a strong jazzy approach by the band in a very contemporary way that hardly makes the listener even think that sometime this was a 1971 composition.With dominant use of saxes and guitar distortions and less keyboard presence, ''Tarkus'' obtains a new, totally different identity of its classic edition and this fact makes it very interesting.

A step to the right direction for the band or an excessive blend of unrelated styles?Partly the first, partly the second.The final feeling though is rather positive despite some minor flaws and the album comes recommended, especially to fans of innovative prog releases with a strong modern flavor.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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