Zarboth - Zarboth
Discorporate/Head Records
Prog/Jazz Rock
8 songs (29:25)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Goat

Featuring Etienne Gaillochet of underground quirk-Rock ensemble We Insist!, Parisian oddballs Zarboth at first come over like some deranged offspring of Tool and Captain Beefheart. The downtuned riffs of the former and the barely sane songwriting of the latter go together surprisingly well, resulting in an addictive album that keeps its cards close to its chest and reveals itself little by little the more you listen. Obviously, it requires patience; the stop-and-start dynamic of opening track Addict makes it seem like several songs played in a row with distracted French muttering between sections and the odd bit of yelling as the duo work out their frustrations. It’s not fun to listen to until at least the third or fourth listen, as it’s almost like the band have deliberately done their best to make the music as hard to get into as possible. From the whistling of Wilderness though the experimental Helmet-isms of Argue to the deep rumbles of Overtones, Zarboth is an album that defies easy description or pidgeonholing.

The most obvious comparison to make is to King Buzzo and co, for just like Melvins Zarboth take a delight in subverting typical Rock structures in favour of an original sound. Of course, if you are familiar with Melvins (which unfortunately so few people are these days) then it might take time to work out how exactly Zarboth are different, but they are, having more of an Avant-Rock sensibility. Perhaps the easiest way to sum Zarboth up is as a deliberately difficult album that, if you’re willing to take the chance and give it time, has the capability to make most ‘normal’ Rock bands rethink their approach to music. Ultimately, the rambunctious catchiness of Never Turn is a Noise-Rock call to arms that will be the one memorable moment for most listeners, but if you enjoy your Rock to come with lots of Jazz influence then Zarboth will live on your playlist for a good long while.

Killing Songs :
Wilderness, Argue, Overtones, Never Turn
Goat quoted 74 / 100
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