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ZOMBIE PICNIC

Post Rock/Math rock • Ireland


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Zombie Picnic biography
Founded in Limerick, Ireland in 2012

ZOMBIE PICNIC is an post rock group from Limerick, Ireland consisting of Brian FITZGERALD, James GRIFFIN, Brendan MILLER and Dave TOBIN. The group formed in 2012 and started releasing concept themed albums in 2016 with their science fiction debut 'A Suburb Of Earth'. Their music is influenced by the likes of MOGWAI or BATTLES but with the agressive tone being replaced more by more calm PINK FLOYD like space atmosphere.

Photo by Robin Parmar

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ZOMBIE PICNIC discography


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ZOMBIE PICNIC top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
A Suburb Of Earth
2016
3.05 | 2 ratings
Rise Of A New Ideology
2018

ZOMBIE PICNIC Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ZOMBIE PICNIC Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Rise Of The Archives
2018

ZOMBIE PICNIC Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ZOMBIE PICNIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rise Of A New Ideology by ZOMBIE PICNIC album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.05 | 2 ratings

BUY
Rise Of A New Ideology
Zombie Picnic Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars ZOMBIE PICNIC is an oddball in the post-rock world. The band name connotes some sort of apocalyptic musical vision but it cranks out more of a happy vibe than not even when the heavy rock parts are cranked up. Nothing menacing at all by this quartet from Limerick, Ireland that consists of Jim Griffin (guitar), Dave Tobin (guitar), Brian Fitzgerald (bass) and Brendan Miller (drums). Likewise, the cover art of an upside down pyramid rising from the forest with an onlooking hiker contemplating the various hues of pink and purple looks more like an album cover for some sort of electronica band that uses simplistic fortified imagery with colors, textures and symbology to convey a message. But what message are they going for? I'm stumped.

This all-instrumental band formed all the way back in 2012 but didn't release their debut "A Suburb Of Earth" until 2016 which displayed an unorthodox mix of Pink Floyd fortified space rock and heavy classic rock riffing in the context of the typical cyclical melodic loops of post-rock. The album was nothing less than adventurous for post-rock and more often than not felt as if it was ready to transmogrify into more of a classic progressive rock style rather than remain streamlined into the steady march that a post-rock album endures to remain within its proper subgenre confines. However, the band crafted a unique specimen of post-rock that while not exactly consistent in that escapist's paradise vibe that a good post-rock album presents, did manage to stand out from the pack.

The band's sophomore release RISE OF A NEW IDEOLOGY released two years later in 2018 finds the band jettisoning much of the angsty excess from the debut and going more by the accepted post-rock playbook that allows the album to flow as an uninterrupted stream of consciousness, a trait that makes a post-rock album, well sound like post-rock! However, many of the traits that embellished the debut did make a reprise for this sophomore release. The album consists of six tracks with the first two being the longest at over nine minutes. The remaining are shorter and to the point with none exceeding six minutes. While the opening and closing tracks "Democracy Cannot Survive" and "Anger In Storage (Denial Will Follow)" cruise by on mellow mode and sound more like typical post-rock constructs, the mid-section adds the beefy guitar riffing and more rocking motifs albeit not quite as energetically as the debut.

Also back are the spoken word segments although they appear less frequently are more subdued and are performed by voice actors rather than samples of movie clips or famous speeches. The album floats by and almost sounds like it could quality as a psychedelic space rock album with its devotion to suave atmospheric backdrops, floaty free floating vibes and echoey guitar reverberations. The overt Pink Floyd and King Crimson influences have been tamped down for a more post-rock friendly show but the rock parts feel like real rock as they alternate from the spacey ethereal segments. While the heavier and softer passages alternate, there is plenty of attention to the production, mixing and radiophonic elements which smooth over the inherit roughness of the chugging guitars and overall drive to add a sense of recklessness to the progressive pseudo-math rock segments.

Overall this is a decent but not outrageously brilliant slice of post-rock with hard rock influences. Personally i prefer the debut as it was more diverse but at the same time it lacked a cohesiveness that made it a stellar post-rock release. While the band improved on that front, it was at the expense of some of the experimentation involved which still exists in smaller doses and more behind the scenes in presentation when it does occur. The trade offs seem to have made this one a less substantial in-yer-face experience but does succeed in an interesting mix of bombast and spaced out detachment. This is a pretty cool presentation of post-rock but the band still seems to be lacking the higher perspective or purpose upon which to construct the post-rock paradigm around and the entire album comes of as a rather aimless parade down a series of alternating subdued space rock and more cranking hard guitar distorted rock. A band to watch out for but they haven't quite found that perfect sound yet.

3.5 rounded down

 A Suburb Of Earth by ZOMBIE PICNIC album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.00 | 2 ratings

BUY
A Suburb Of Earth
Zombie Picnic Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The name ZOMBIE PICNIC conjures up the perfect imagery of a couple in love nonchalantly strolling through the woods and finding the perfect verdant clearing to engage in the act of having a PICNIC. But unbeknownst to them the ZOMBIE apocalypse was scheduled on the calendar and they are quickly greeted by the living dead ready to convert them into the army of lost souls. Well, this Limerick, Ireland based post-rock band may taunt and tease with its chosen moniker but in reality is not a doom and gloom metal band but rather dishes out an interesting hybridization of post-rock alongside disparate influences ranging from the surreal psychedelic of Pink Floyd, the hard rock heft of classic rock to various samplings and sizzling echo rich guitar soloing.

While following in the footsteps of fellow post-rockers such as Mogwai and the Battles as far as their post-rock crews are concerned, this four-piece all instrumental band was formed in 2012 by Jim Griffin (guitar), Dave Tobin (guitar), Brian Fitzgerald (bass) and Brendan Miller (drums) with the next four years spent crafting their debut release A SUBURB OF EARTH which the band released digitally. Unlike many post-rock bands that rely on repetitive hypnosis to engage the listener, ZOMBIE PICNIC displays a keen sense of ambitiousness with the subtle variations that emerge from the typical cyclical bass groove drive that constitutes most post rock. By providing a greater sense of melody constructed through carefully laid out guitar licks and chord changes, ZOMBIE PICNIC feels like its one step away from leaving the post-rock world altogether and becoming a fully fueled prog rock band.

A SUBURB ON EARTH contains four tracks. The introductory "The B141 Frequency" gets things started as the longest tracks of 11 1/2 minutes but also delivers some of the hardest hitting guitar rock on the album with a heavy distorted rock guitar leading the way but after a few minutes the subtleties begin to distinguish themselves as timbres, tempos, dynamics and odd inserted samples start to peek in and out until the groove oriented track reaches its conclusion. It goes without saying that ZOMBIE PICNIC differentiate themselves from the standard post-rock outfit by engaging in strong musicianship based around a groove rather than allowing the groove to be the beacon around which to construct an escapist's vision of simple plodding surrealism although there is that as well.

"The Adamite Bomb" slows things down a bit and implements a clean echoey guitar more reminiscent of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" with spoken samples from Arthur C. Clarke providing an unexpected counterpoint to the repetitive guitar, bass and drums. Unfortunately despite the cool atmosphere, the track seems to fall into a rut and reverts to a rather generic post-rock paradigm for far too long before finally erupting into heavier rock induced jam material that ends it more satisfying than which it began however the excess use of the vocal samplings seems a tad superfluous and is obviously providing some sort of icing on the cake however for some reason becomes irritating in its excess.

"The Cylindrical Sea" is the most Floydian track of all that engages in a nonchalant breezy tempo and plenty of spacey guitar effects and synthesized atmosphere. It generates an intensity of sonic buildup before switching to a heavier guitar riff but it's fleeting and the track mostly simmers on mellow mode with guitar echoes and piercing licks providing the primary stimulus but luckily things change up every few measures with different echo sequences, bass lines and guitar riffs despite the same cyclical melodic flow. The hefty guitar bombast at the end that alternates with the echo guitar is a cool feature. The production on this one is flawless.

"The Rama Committe" starts off in the typical Floydian finery with the space rock effects in full swing but the track evolves into one a harder edged sound as the guitars increases decibelage and the track engages in more subtle creativity. In other words it doesn't just flow by like a brainwashed soldier in battle but rather dishes out a menagerie of guitar tones, licks, drum rolls and other musical variations and also brings back some undisclosed vocal samplings that have been processed to emulate the echoey guitar parts. The guitar parts themselves are more dynamic than other other tracks with all kinds of slides, arpeggiations as well as the standard riffing.

Overall i wanted a horror story to emerge from a band named ZOMBIE PICNIC but what we get is a nerdy sound stuffed journey of post-rock laced with heavier rock, space rock and production tricks. Not bad at all but in the end A SUBURB OF EARTH seems more like a jam band that improvised the four tracks and then went to the studio to add all the bells and whistles. Pretty decent album but falls short of creating the proper atmospheric cohesiveness that constitutes a stellar post-rock release. One of the most demanding aspects of post-rock is that of control and ZOMBIE PICNIC comes off as amateurs who have packed in too much sonic stuffing in their post-rock pepper. While interesting ideas are presented, the art of streamlining had not yet been mastered. Still though, if you're not a perfectionist, then A SUBURB OF EARTH is quite the unique post-rock album that despite the influences on board doesn't really sound like any other band that i've encountered.

3.5 rounded down

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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