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ZS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Zs biography
To categorise these guys is about as difficult as the music they play. ZS's music could be considered as a combination between Avant-Garde/Free Jazz and Math Rock, only with a clearly tidy and structured vibe to it. In addition, their music is also extremely dynamic but also repetetive and requires patience as the music can get frustratingly intense at times, but it's all very energetic and fun to listen to. Their songs are loaded with odd meters and time-signatures and several "start-stop-start" sections are present and plays a significant role in their overall sound, something that could compare them to several bands labeled as Math-Rock. The melodies are often odd, dissonant and unpredictable with heavy minimalistic elements while also being tightly arranged. Stylistically they are looseley akin to Keith Tippett projects, such as Ovary Lodge and Centipede (minus the piano) and the sax playing at times has the stylistics of Elton Dean (from Soft Machine). The minimalistic tendencies are obviously reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass, but often with the more rock-orientated form of minimalism played by Third-era Soft Machine. The band currently consists of Charlie Looker (synthesizer/guitar), Ben Greenberg (guitar), Sam Hillmer (saxophone), and Ian Antonio (drums) although the group have gone through several line-up changes since their formation in 2000. This band is absolutely recommended if you like wacky and both technical and challenging music. Especially for fans of bands like Orthrelm, Ruins and Hella. They are not easy listening by any means but they are absolutely worth checking out if you are into stuff like this, although it may take some time to digest their releases properly.


===Written by Bj-1===

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XeXe
Northern Spy 2015
Audio CD$7.57
$7.56 (used)
Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007
Box set
Northern Spy 2012
Audio CD$18.11
$15.96 (used)
GrainGrain
Northern Spy 2013
Audio CD$4.99
$1.93 (used)
New SlavesNew Slaves
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2010
Audio CD$29.27
$10.52 (used)
ZsZs
EP · Limited Edition
Troubleman Unlimited 2003
Audio CD$10.64
$4.35 (used)
New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2011
Vinyl$9.99
$26.55 (used)
Music Of The Modern White [Vinyl]Music Of The Modern White [Vinyl]
Social Registry 2009
Vinyl$16.18
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
VG++ SURVIVOR EYE OF THE TIGER/TAKE YOU ON A SAT. 1981 45 RPM SCOTTI ZS5 02912 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1h 6m
C.C.S. WHOLE LOTTA LOVE ZEPPELIN COVER RAK ZS7-4501 MINT- (45) USD $5.99 [0 bids]
1h 12m
S.O.S. BAND TAKE YOUR TIME 1980 45 RPM TABU ZS9 5522 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1h 43m
James Brown Living In America / How Do You Stop 45 rpm Scotti Bros ZS8-69117 NM USD $5.20 Buy It Now 1h 53m
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MARI GRIFFITH's Welsh Folk UK pressing LP Rediffusion STEREO ZS 131 USD $21.00 Buy It Now 16h 42m
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1983 WEIRD AL YANKOVIC 45 BUCKINGHAM BLUES / RICKY on ROCK-n-ROLL # ZS4-03849 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
18h 34m
DUTCH BARREL ORGAN draaiorgel de vije beelden LP PS EX/EX rediffusion ZS 148 USD $13.65 Buy It Now 18h 36m
Three Degrees When Will I See You Again 7" 45 Columbia Zs8 3550 1973 Vinyl USD $3.74 Buy It Now 19h 54m
Bertie Higgins - Just Another Day In Paradise 7" Ex 1982 KAT ZS5 02839 USD $3.70 Buy It Now 20h 21m
BILLY PAUL Billy's Back Home/ Mono 7" DJ Promo ZS8 3563 USD $4.47 Buy It Now 20h 26m
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CYMARRON 45 ZS7 7500 BLACK 1971 RARE SINGLE 7" INDIA 45 RPM INDIAN USD $49.99 Buy It Now 22h 37m
LOU RAWLS let me be good to you / lover's holiday 7" VG+ ZS8 3684 Soul 45 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 23h 37m
Come On Feel The Noise b/w Run For Cover Quiet Riot 45 Pasha ZS404005 VG+ USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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GRIN 45 PROMO SPINDIZZY EVERYBODY'S MISSIN' THE SUN ZS7-4002 M- USD $2.99 [0 bids]
1 day
LARRY GATLIN WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS WARM & TENDER 1976 45 RPM MONUMENT ZS8 8696 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
1979 The Beach Boys Good Timin / Love Surrounds Me Caribou ZS8-9029 45 rpm NM- USD $4.50 Buy It Now 1 day
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Friends And Lovers Carl Anderson & Gloria Loring 45 Carrere ZS4-06122 NM USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
DEAN FRIEDMAN Woman of Mine 1977 NM dj PROMO Lifesong ZS8 1756 USD $1.25 [0 bids]
USD $2.50 Buy It Now
1 day
VG++ MATTHEW WILDER BREAK MY STRIDE 1983 45 RPM PRIVATE I ZS4-04113 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1 day
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The Dells PROMO One Step Closer Private I Records ZS4 04448 R&B Soul 45 HEAR IT USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
VG++ BERTIE HIGGINS WHITE LINE FEVER/KEY LARGO 1981 45 RPM KAT FAMILY ZS5 02524 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens Everything is Beautiful & A Brighter Day Records ZS7 2011 45 RPM USD $3.49 [0 bids]
1 day
BUNNY SIGLER Keep Smilin' PICKWICK ZS8 3554 PROMO 45 USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Julie Anthony Vinyl 45 China Blue - Wizard Records ZS-576 with Cover USD $4.70 [0 bids]
1 day
PAUL OTT I'm The South 45 Keeps Me Comin' Round Monument ZS8-8655 vinyl 7" USD $13.97 Buy It Now 1 day
RONNIE JAMES Wonder Girl/ same 7" 45 Philadelphia International ZS9 3720 promo USD $4.47 Buy It Now 1 day
Zs - The Hard EP CD NEW+ USD $24.07 Buy It Now 1 day
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Art Mooney - Cha Cha Cha - POP / Vogue Records Germany Nr. ZS 10046 - EX+ USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
TERESA NEAL 7" VINYL DEMO DO WHAT YOU FEEL PLAYBOY ZS8 5817 1977 USD $7.94 Buy It Now 1 day
Billy Swan I Can Help / Ways Of A Woman In Love 45 VG Monument ZS88621 1974 USD $4.95 Buy It Now 1 day
John Cafferty Tough All Over 45 NM 1985 ZS4-04891 USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Jim Croce Time In A Bottle / Workin' At The Car Wash Blues 45 NM ZS8-4517 USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Joan Jett Little Liar / What Can I Do For You w/ps 45 NM 1988 ZS4-08095 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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Matthew Wilder The Kid's American / Ladder of Lovers 45 NM ZS4-04363 1983 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Matthew Wilder Break My Stride / Instrumental 45 NM Private I ZS4-04113 1983 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Various(Vinyl LP)Rediffusion Stereo Sampler-Rediffusion-RIM ZS01 001-UK-VG/Ex USD $14.89 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS - GRAIN EP CD 2 TRACKS HEAVY/DOOM METAL HARD ROCK NEW+ USD $20.71 Buy It Now 1 day
FREDDY RANDALL and his FAMOUS JAZZ BAND - 1971 Rediffusion ZS84 (England) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Albert Hammond 45 Brand New Day/I'M A Train Mums Records 1974 #ZS76026 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BILL McGUFFIE LP- GENTLE SOUNDS RIM ZS 36 USD $10.37 [0 bids]
1 day
RHONDA CLARK-b-(45)-STATE OF ATTRACTION / I LOVE YOUR BODY -TABU-ZS4 69000 -1989 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Grin Ain't Love Nice 7" 45 DBB ZS7 4007 1973 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Burrito Brothers Does She Wish She Was Single Again 7" 45 Curb ZS6 01011 1981 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Dan Hartman It Hurts To Be In Love 7" 45 Blue Sky ZS6 02115 1981 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Day Z's, Day Zs, Good USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
EDDIE CONDON - Dixieland Jazz Party - Excellent Con LP Record Rediffusion ZS 162 USD $13.34 Buy It Now 1 day
P.F. SLOAN-PROMO-LET ME BE-MUMS-ZS7-6010/ 1972 USD $7.00 [0 bids]
USD $10.00 Buy It Now
1 day
THE ISLEY BROTHERS Here We Go Again Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 1980 single T-NECK ZS9 2291 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Quiet Riot 45 Pasha Records,1983, ZS4-04005~Cum On Feel the Noize/Run For Cover USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Harold Geller Playing with Strings LP RIM records ZS-10 Original 1968 USD $16.33 [0 bids]
1 day
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Art In America Art In America 7" 45 Pavillion ZS4 03963 1983 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Survivor Summer Nights 7" 45 Scotti Bros ZS5 02435 1981 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Teddy Pendergrass I Can't Win For Losing 7" 45 PhiladeLPhia ZS4 03284 1982 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Double Image Night Pulse 7" 45 Curb ZS4 03942 1983 Vinyl USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Xe by Zs Vinyl Record (2015) Brand New Ships Worldwide USD $31.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Xe by Zs CD (2015) Brand New Ships Worldwide USD $28.99 Buy It Now 2 days
New Slaves Part Ii: Essence Implosion! - Zs (2011, Vinyl New) USD $19.75 Buy It Now 2 days
CHERRELLE You Look Good to Me ZS405608 EP wa3439 USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2 days
'80-LAMONT JOHNSON-Masta Luva-TABU-ZS9 5525-7"45-WLP USD $4.00 [0 bids]
2 days
CHARLIE MCCOY SHANANDOAH MONUMENT PROMO RECORD ZS7-8576 USD $3.00 [0 bids]
2 days
OZZY OSBOURNE CRAZY TRAIN WHITE LABEL PROMO 45 7" VINYL RARE! ZS4 07186 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
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Antonio Buonomo Le Origini Zeus Records ZS4482 UPC 8024631044822 2001 Italy USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Electric Light Orchestra ELO Don't Bring Me Down Jet ZS95060 VG 45 Vinyl Single USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $4.99 Buy It Now
2 days
Ray Stevens Everything Beautiful Brighter 45 Vinyl EP Barnaby ZS72011 Mono VG USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $4.99 Buy It Now
2 days
Survivor Eye of the Tiger 45 Vinyl EP Scotti Brothers ZS502912 1981 VG USD $0.99 [0 bids]
USD $4.99 Buy It Now
2 days
The Day Zs - The Day Zs LP New Mint Factory Sealed 1990 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA CALLING AMERICA PROMO VINYL 45 W/PS 1986 CBS ZS4-05766 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ZS - GRAIN EP VINYL LP NEW+ USD $28.99 Buy It Now 2 days
JAMES, HARRY spectacular sound of harry james VG/VG JAPAN ZS-5004 | 14-0528-038 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Mr Shepherd(Vinyl LP)Mr Goodman-UK-ZS30-Rediffusion-VG/VG USD $14.89 Buy It Now 2 days
James Brown I'm Real / Static 7" 45 rpm Collectables Scotti Bros. ZS8 69120 NM USD $10.40 Buy It Now 2 days
Billy Vaughn(Vinyl LP)The Million Sellers-Rediffusion-ZS 158-UK-VG/NM USD $26.29 Buy It Now 2 days
(Vinyl LP)The Ballet Music from Gounods-Rediffusion-RIM ZS51B-Ex/NM USD $21.99 Buy It Now 2 days
The Good Old Jangle Days(Vinyl LP)-Rediffusion-R.I.M ZS138-VG/Ex USD $15.79 Buy It Now 2 days
Various(Vinyl LP)Grecian Summer-Rediffusion-RIM ZS100-VG+/VG USD $43.79 Buy It Now 2 days
Pat Boone(Vinyl LP)Pat Boone's Christmas-Rediffusion-ZS166-UK-VG/VG USD $18.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Bill McGuffie(Vinyl LP)An Alto And Some Brass-Rediffusion-ZS 48-UK-VG+/Ex USD $15.79 Buy It Now 2 days
Bill Mcguffie(Vinyl LP)The Big Band-Rediffusion-ZS 130-UK-Ex-/VG USD $13.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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ZS shows & tickets


  • Post Green ZOO on 29 Jun 2015
  • Zs at rhiz, Vienna on 1 Jul 2015

ZS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.00 | 3 ratings
Zs
2003
3.52 | 6 ratings
Arms
2007
3.76 | 8 ratings
New Slaves
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Grain
2013
4.67 | 3 ratings
Xe
2015

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Buck
2007

ZS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Karate Bump
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Hard
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Music of the Modern White
2009

ZS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Xe by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.67 | 3 ratings

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Xe
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars Somewhere between the recent post-punk revival and modern avant-prog lies Zs. These modern day pronks mix a very sparse guitar sound that mixes with use of horns that are unmistakably RIO-derived. The guitar lines go on and on and on, with the horns variously attacking like Peter Brotzmann's kind of free jazz, or playing along or in the background like a sickly corruption of smooth, urban feeling jazz, easily in part by way of Henry Cow. The minimalism only helps this album sound ever stranger, which is exactly where it needs to be. The artfulness of the result is best shown by the long, jaw-dropping "Corps" and title track, and how. Easily a front-runner not just for avant-prog album of the year, but for album of the year in general.

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 New Slaves by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 8 ratings

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New Slaves
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars I really enjoy ZS albums and I'm expecting to get in my hands their latest release as soon as possible. At least for me they make a very singular kind of avant garde mixing a lot of known elements and influences to make some really interesting tracks full of surprising moments perhaps this one is an album a little different from their previous releases (because the constant presence of distorted instruments) I got to say that this one is a very weird but nice piece of experimental music. So meanwhile I wait for their new album I consider necessary to give another listen to "New Slaves", one of their most experimental releases.

"New Slaves" starts with "Concert Black" a kind of clock-rhythmical intro (at least for avant garde standards) layed by a mysterious atmosphere which matches with the complex work of distorted guitars and weird effects into an almost minimalist composition.

Next comes "Acres of Skin", a song based on tribal percussions as base for intricated distored instrumental sections. Dark atmospheres repeats here but with a strong emphasys on hard rhythmical sections and distorted and screamig sax.

Third is "Gentleman Amateur" in which distorted sounds takes definetively the lead even constructing a loud wall of minimal harmonics that repeats on "Don't Touch Me" in which ZS reaches a strong paronoid atmosphere full of distorted effects and metalic percussions playing repetitive but changing schizoid sections.

"Masonry" is the first song of the álbum which has some relation with the previous ZS releases. Is a quiet but dark song base don a slow rhythmical base and some atmospherical effects.

Then we have "New Slaves" and we ge tinto the most deep ocean of musical and atmospherical textures that ZS can give us. Some guitars "a la Frohmader" filling any quiet space and possible silences, repetitive rhythmical sections, slow but constant movements between some hard and raw sax solos? All of this elements turns this 20 minutes song into a real dark deep journey crossed by one of the most dense musical expressions that I've heard lately, reminding me some Henry Cow and Ne Zhdali best moments.

"Black Crown Ceremony" (Parts I and II) are the epilog for this album. Here ZS mixes quiet but still dark atmospheres with distorted sax and guitars building different sound layers that explodes in some really chilling moments.

At least for me it's the kind of avant garde that I really enjoy. Maybe not for all ears but surely a piece which deserves a place into any RIO discography? 4*

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 Zs by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Zs
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

3 stars Zs first album it just a nice preview of what these guys do since 2003.

Like many first attempts, "Zs" has some lack of originalty perhaps is a good avant garde album. Reminiscences of the more experimental bands of the genre could be found easily in every song of this album but Zs has his stuff. Between scales and harmonies that looks like 5uu's or Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic outtakes, you can find some dark and addictive style related to build complex and progressive melodies in order to create oppresive atmospheres. "Mimesis" is the climax of this attempts; a quiet but thrilling track in which we can find the genesis of the singular Zs sound that we discover in their late production.

Not the best of this band but a kind of necessary prologue of the complex wotk of these guys. And of course, "Mimesis" is a worth to listen piece, really amazing and captivating... 3+*...

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 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.52 | 6 ratings

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Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Chris H
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The maxi-minimalists?

Zs is a band that was formed in 2000 in New York, in the heart of the brutal chamber scene. However, one would challenge themselves day and night trying to name a genre that fits the style these guys play. One listen to this album and you will say they play one style, then listen to it again and you will say a different one. There is just no way to peg one single genre onto this album. It's too ugly and raw for jazz music, too complicated for minimalist music however too simple to be called avant-garde.

Arms is the first full-length studio album from this band, following up on two successful EP's and predating a live release, both recorded last year in 2007. If you are reading this review because you are looking for something that resembles music, I warn you to turn back now. Zs is not a band that plays music, Zs is a band that records art. Vocals are used sparingly, but they create a deep impact on the album, especially the chanting in Except When You Don't Because You Wont. Combined with the beating percussions, this piece could almost put you in a trance-like state. Also the vocals on I Can't Concentrate really sky-rocket the song itself and the album to a whole new level.

From the opening saxophone explosion of B Is For Burning, to the last shake of the tambourine on Z Is For The Zone, there is no let up on this album. Although sometimes the music may quiet down or shift itself, the thrills keep coming back. One mistake I do think that Zs might have made in their debut is the length of the album. They do a great job playing their repetitive, trance inducing music throughout the duration of the album, but towards the end the listener will tend to settle back into their seat rather than still be on the edge. Music like this needs to be full-out for a certain length and then stop without rest.

All in all, a very strong debut and one of the best in 2007. Work on those endings and the next Zs studio album will most likely be a winner!

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 Arms by ZS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.52 | 6 ratings

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Arms
Zs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Calling this cerebral is an understatement.

Earlier this year, around summer, when I was discovering highly convoluted and elaborate music, I stumbled upon a band that was simply named "Zs". I remember reading an article about a little musical movement called "brutal prog" where bands like Upsilon Acrux, The Flying Luttenbachers and even Orthrelm are part of, or so the author of the article claims. Zs was the band labeled as "brutal chamber" and being a fan of this kind of music I didn't hesitated to check them out. The music does remind me of the previously mentioned bands so this is recommended for fans of this kind of music, especially fans of Orthrelm's Ov.

Zs' music takes parts of minimalism, chamber music, rock, jazz and mesh it to sound as ugly and dissonant as possible! This leaves no room for emotions so I hope that that isn't a problem. The music is repetitive and angular with disjointed and awkward sounding melodies wrapped with start / stop dynamics in every single moment of the album. Vocals aren't present on this album but in one song, "Nobody Wants To Be Had" which is one of the album's peak moments particularly because of its odd singing and even odder topic. This song in particular is the one that attracted me the most from them since it's the most easily rewarding song on the album as well as being a good representation of their sound. The only song that can top this one is "I Can't Concentrate" with its math rock-like song structure and long running time. Balk is an interesting song, it isn't as engaging as the ones before and after it, but the main melody is almost exactly the same as Faust's song called "So Far". This hasn't been affirmed by the members of Zs and it's only a little observation of mine so ignore it at will.

Zs' music is inaccessible and hard to grasp. Newcomers should keep away from this band, but Veterans should check Zs' as soon as possible. Arms is an elaborate and intriguing album that Avant-garde music fans will highly enjoy. The only problem here is "Z is for Zone" which isn't up to par with the rest of the material on the album and overstays its welcome, but this is still an enjoyable album.

3.5 out of 5

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