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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$6.28
$6.32 (used)
Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007
Box set
Northern Spy 2012
Audio CD$13.88
$26.79 (used)
GrainGrain
Northern Spy 2013
Audio CD$4.99
$1.93 (used)
New SlavesNew Slaves
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2010
Audio CD$29.48
$10.52 (used)
ZsZs
EP · Limited Edition
Troubleman Unlimited 2003
Audio CD$10.94
$4.35 (used)
Music Of The Modern White [Vinyl]Music Of The Modern White [Vinyl]
Social Registry 2009
Vinyl$11.68
$17.75 (used)
New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!
THE SOCIAL REGISTRY 2011
Vinyl$4.75
$26.55 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Stoneground - Family Album on Warner Bros. 2ZS 1956 Gatefold 2LP Stereo USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1h 14m
Zs - Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-07 CD USD $24.79 Buy It Now 2h 4m
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Lou Rawls Ain't That Lovng You Promo on PIR #ZS9 3102 45-rpm Record USD $6.99 Buy It Now 8h 13m
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The O'Jays Family Reunion Promo on PIR #ZS8 3596 Mono & Stereo 45-rpm Record USD $6.99 Buy It Now 8h 14m
Archie Bell & The Drells Let's Groove (Part 1 & 2) TSOP #ZS8 4775 45-rpm Record USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 15m
Lou Rawls You're My Blessing Promo on PIR #ZS9 3750, White Label 45-rpm Record USD $6.99 Buy It Now 8h 15m
MFSB To Be In Love White Label Promo on PIR #ZS8 3663 in 1978 45-rpm Record USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 15m
MFSB When Your Love Is Gone White Promo on PIR #ZS8 3583 in 1975 45-rpm Record USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 15m
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RONALD BINGE AND HIS ORCHESTRA SUMMER RAIN LP UK Rediffusion 1971 ZS81 STEREO USD $8.58 [0 bids]
10h 35m
Arlen Day Inside You 7" 45 Pasha ZS5 03068 1982 Vinyl USD $3.74 Buy It Now 10h 38m
"Grecian Summer" REDIFFUSION STEREO R.I.M. ZS 100 LP VINYL RECORD EX/EX 10 USD $29.10 Buy It Now 10h 48m
MARI GRIFFITH WELSH FOLK 1973 REDDIFFUSION STEREO ZS131 NEAR MINT POSS UNPLAYED USD $14.70 Buy It Now 11h 16m
Billy Troy: Longer Than Awhile / My Nancy's Love 7" 45 NM USA Barnaby ZS7 2035 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 11h 42m
THE FROGS Alfie, The Christmas Tree/ mono 7" 45 Mums ZS7-6025 (1973) PROMO USD $4.24 Buy It Now 14h 8m
O'Jays For The Love Of Money / People Keep Tellin' Me 7" 45 rpm ZS7 3544 NM USD $4.55 Buy It Now 14h 59m
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CUCO SANCHES Cuco Sanchez ZS1815 LP Au0800 USD $2.99 [0 bids]
16h 39m
FRANKIE LAINE Hell Bent for Leather! ZS1008 10" Au1530 USD $0.99 [0 bids]
16h 46m
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1982 Rocky III Movie Survivor Eye of The Tiger 45 RPM ZS5-02912 Record USD $7.19 Buy It Now 19h 55m
People's Choice: Here We Go Again / Mickey D's 7" 45 VG++ USA TSOP ZS8 4781 USD $2.99 Buy It Now 20h 35m
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People's Choice ?- Cold Blooded & Down-Right-Funky - TSOP ZS8 4784 - MINT 45 USD $11.42 Buy It Now 1 day
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Instant Funk ?- It Ain't Reggae (But It's Funky) TSOP ZS6 02022 - MINT 45 USD $11.42 Buy It Now 1 day
The O'Jays - Put Our Heads Together - ZS4 04069 - TSOP MINT 45 USD $19.08 Buy It Now 1 day
Horst Jankowski ?- Return To The Black Forest Rediffusion ?- ZS 80 LP 12" USD $13.78 Buy It Now 1 day
Ruth McFadden -Ghetto Woman (Part 2) GAMBLE ZS72503 USA funk/soul 1972 USD $8.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Ruth McFadden -Ghetto Woman (Part 1) GAMBLE ZS72503 USA funk/soul 1972 USD $8.00 [0 bids]
1 day
The O'Jays "To Prove I Love You / Once Is Not Enough" !980 TSOP 7" 45 ZS6-4791 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SID PHILIPS AND HIS GREAT JAZZ BAND clarinet marmalade ZS 142 uk LP PS EX/EX USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
LOS TROPICALES the big band latin sound of ZS 119 uk rediffusion LP PS EX/EX USD $17.30 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS 111 SCHONHERR/VNOO waltzes from vienna uk rediffusion LP PS EX/EX USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ROCK 45 - CHRIS FARLOWE - PAINT IT BLACK / WHAT HAVE I BEEN - IMMEDIATE ZS7 5011 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
THE DAY Zs Certainly w/ RARE EDIT PROMO DJ CD Single USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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1974 Albert Hammond 45 Record Brand New Day/I'm a Train Mums ZS7 6026 VG USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Zs - Grain [Vinyl New] USD $13.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA 7" VINYL DON'T BRING ME DOWN JET U.S. ZS9 5060 ELO USD $10.65 Buy It Now 1 day
SAM TAYLOR Spectacular Sound of Sam the Man Taylor ZS5001 OBI 10" Aw7482 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
1 day
THE ISLEY BROTHERS choosey lover 7" VG+ ZS4-03994 Vinyl 1983 T-Neck 45 USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Dutch Barrel Organ Rediffusion - ZS 148 - Stereo LP USD $1.52 [0 bids]
1 day
The Flirts 45 New Toy/I Wanna Wear Your Ring CBS Records 1985 #ZS405849 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Bertie Higgins 45 White Line Fever/Key Largo Kat Family Records 1981 #ZS502524 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson 45 Friends and Lovers/You Always Knew 1986 #ZS8691 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
LEOPOLD LUDWIG TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 ZS3305 10" Av5599 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
SURVIVOR Burning Heart ZS05663 EP wc7571 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
AKEO WATANABE SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 ZS20 10" Av5596 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
1986 James Brown How Do You Stop / Living In America Scotti ZS8-69117 45 rpm NM USD $5.85 Buy It Now 1 day
VG+ O'JAYS YOUR BODY'S HERE WITH ME/OUT IN THE REAL WORLD 1982 45 RPM ZS5 03009 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
VG+ BILLY PAUL I WAS MARRIED/THANKS FOR SAVING MY LIFE 1973 45 RPM ZS7 3538 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
VG++ THREE DEGREES HERE I AM/TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF 1975 45 RPM ZS8 3568 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
VG++ THREE DEGREES DIRTY OL' MAN/I DIDN'T KNOW 1973 45 RPM ZS8 3561 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Ronnie Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Monument Records, ZS7 8573, DJ PROMO, Stereo USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
VG++ KANSAS PLAY THE GAME TONIGHT (BOTH SIDES) 1982 45 RPM KIRSHNER ZS5-02903 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
ELLA WASHINGTON - It Must Be Love - 7 inch Vinyl 1971 - ZS7 1501 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
PAUL, Billy (Thanks For Saving My Life) Phil. Interntl ZS7 3538 = PROMO USD $4.60 Buy It Now 1 day
Bertie Higgins (Key Largo) White Line Fever 1981 Kat Family ZS5 02524 NM 45 7" USD $3.75 Buy It Now 1 day
ZS - GRAIN NEW VINYL USD $29.57 Buy It Now 1 day
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA 45 RPM SHINE A LITTLE LOVE AND JUNGLE JET ZS8 5057 1979 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Zs - Grain Dig CD Pop Rock USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Freddie Randall & His Famous Jazz Band - ZS84 - LP Vinyl Record USD $7.95 Buy It Now 2 days
LOU RAWLS see you when i git there / spring again 7" EX+ ZS8 3623 Soul 1977 45 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
2 days
VINYL LP - BANJOS ARE BACK - VARIOUS ARTISTS - ZS 91 USD $13.78 Buy It Now 2 days
DAVID JOHANSEN MELODY 45 RECORD BLUE SKY ZS4-03382 PROMO!!! USD $4.00 Buy It Now 2 days
THE ROMANTICS ONE IN A MILLION 45 RECORD AND PICTURE SLEEVE NEMPEROR ZS4-04373 USD $4.00 Buy It Now 2 days
RICK DERRINGER MIDNIGHT ROAD 45 RECORD BLUE SKY ZS8-2774 PROMO! USD $3.49 Buy It Now 2 days
THE BEACH BOYS GETCHA BACK / MALE EGO 45 RECORD CARIBOU RECORDS ZS4-04913 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2 days
JOAN JETT BLACKHEARTS LITTLE LIAR / WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU 45 RECORD ZS4-08095 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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The Crickets - Vocal by Sonny Curtis, True Love Ways, Barnaby DJ PROMO ZS7 2061 USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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The Reddings 45 I Want It PROMO COPY 1980 CBS Records #ZS65602 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
FRANZ BAUER THEUSSL Vienna National Opera Orchestra UK Rediffusion ZS-125 NM USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Brick All The Way 7" 45 Bang ZS9 4810 1980 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
1 CENT CD The Hard EP - Zs USD $0.01 [0 bids]
2 days
VG++ CHARLIE McCOY BOOGIE WOOGIE/KEEP ON HARPIN' 1974 RPM MOMUMENT ZS7 8611 USD $3.98 Buy It Now 2 days
Beau Coup Still In My Heart 7" 45 Rock'N'Roll ZS4 04632 1984 Vinyl USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Widow New Romance 7" 45 CBS ZS4 05661 1985 Vinyl USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Teddy Pendergrass I Can't Live Without Your Love 7" 45 PhiladeLPhia ZS5 02462 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
VG++ ANDRE BERRYMAN DON'T PLAY NO GAMES (BOTH SIDES) 1988 45 RPM TABU ZS4 08065 USD $4.98 Buy It Now 2 days
VG++ ISLEY BROTHERS FIGHT THE POWER PART 1 & 2 1975 45 RPM TNECK ZS8 2256 USD $2.98 Buy It Now 2 days
INTRUDERS PLAIN OL' FASHIONED GIRL 45 TSOP ZS8 4771 USD $4.98 Buy It Now 2 days
Survivor 45 High On You/The Search Is Over Scottibros. Records 1984 #ZS806443 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
New Slaves Part Ii: Essence Implosion! - Zs (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $16.96 Buy It Now 2 days
THE DAY Zs Certainly 12" Maxxi 2 Mixes MINT P/S USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2 days
John Cafferty (Where The Action Is) C-I-T-Y (Scotti Bros ZS4-05452)7" 45 EX 1985 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2 days
*FRANTIQUE* ~Strut Your Funky Stuff~Original 45~Promo~Philadelphia~ZS9 3703~ USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2 days
The Day Zs - Day ZS (Cassette, Oct-1990, Reprise) NEW in Shrink! USD $7.49 Buy It Now 2 days
Ted Wortham & Company - Precious Memories 1975 7" Ex TSOP ZS8 4777 USD $5.35 Buy It Now 3 days
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ZS shows & tickets


  • ZS ◊ ZLOTA JESIEN on 28 Jun 2015
  • Po Green ZOO on 29 Jun 2015
  • Zs at rhiz, Vienna on 1 Jul 2015
  • Zs at NEONE, Praha on 2 Jul 2015
  • Zs + ZA! at Jazzhouse, KÝbenhavn K on 7 Jul 2015
  • Wavelengths on 10 Jul 2015
  • Hopscotch Music Festival 2015 on 10 Sep 2015
  • Incubate 2015 on 14 Sep 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 √°lbum 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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