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Zip Tang - Cold Coming CD (album) cover


Zip Tang


Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 47 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Steve Conrad
4 stars Mother Mary Comes to Me

No Earthly Help

That is to say lyricist/guitarist/vocalist/impresario Perry Merritt and ZIP TANG side-kicks bassist Andrew Bunk plus drummer Fred Faller see little hope for lost souls in this day, in this age.

If I'm reading this concept album correctly, and hearing it for what it offers (a lot!), sweet Marie born to an abandoned addict mom careens from danger to disaster to death- unwatched, uncared for, unimportant.


Here's an ace outfit from Chicago, USA creating eclectic progressive music, laying down four albums from 2007 through 2015, losing then finding a bassist (who really punches up the energy here)...and devoting some years to writing and perfecting this creative tour de force.


It reminds me of the ominous statement "Winter is coming..." from a certain epic series (books, TV)- the cold of public apathy, shelters that aren't, families in name only, predators waiting the young and vulnerable, a shredded safety net.

So this album, utilizing poetry of brutality, neglect, and heedlessness- yet with the loveliest imagery, conveys the tragedy and horror of being seen as subhuman, or worse, invisible.


Somehow ZIP TANG welds together these poetic images with sometimes biting, sometimes hard driving, sometimes melancholic, sometimes symphonic progressive music.

And that gutsy, punchy bass guitar just propels it along.

Not to slight the guitar and synthesizer wizardry or the beautifully complementary, tasteful drumming. NO programmed drums can compete with a flesh and blood drummer using an acoustic drum-kit.

Plus the saxophone that wistfully, moodily weaves in and out bringing jazzy textures to the mix.

Synthesizers and keyboards bring sweetness and fullness.


Near as I can make it, Perry does the vocal work, utilizing his sometimes tender, sometimes raspy lead voice, then utilizing distance and closeness, and some fine harmonies as well.

It all works so well together. The tempo and mood changes. The flow of tunes. The images of dank bridges, menace, pimps and pushers and prostitutes, the little ones forced to survive no matter what.

Mother Mary

An apparition? A kindly spiritual presence that does not rescue but is always present and encouraging? A hazy drug dream?

Regardless of how you hear it, she's key.

We are allowed to believe- to hope- that sweet Marie, punching bag, orifice, and human refuse, finds a home in the vast multiverse, the glimpse of stars in her eyes.

In Sum

Just all around wonderful eclectic progressive music with a conscience and a heart.

My Rating: 4.25 out of 5 poetic aspirations

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |


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