By The Zico Chain
After spending some time listening to this new mini album from Brighton's angry grungers, The Zico Chain, I have learnt several things. My grunge threshold is considerably lower than I previously thought. Comparisons to legendary bands can be a thankless task. Confidence in yourself can be a saviour.
Hailed by some as a band that Kurt Cobain would be proud of, I had high hopes for this album. These hopes were catapulted to Earth with the gravitational force of a clichéd TV hurtling out of a penthouse hotel window. Where Nirvana were revolutionary to the grunge scene, The Zico Chain are a repetitive, substandard tribute band to all things grunge. Opener Rohypnol launches a full out assault on your ears and sets the pace of a repetitive, thrashing attempt at nu-grunge, complete with headache inducing screaming. Other tracks are much the same, and after several listens, I must admit it is still difficult to distinguish between the songs. Unlike their Seattle heroes, The Zico Chain offer nothing new to a scene that is in as dire need of a revival as its hopefuls are in need a hair wash.
This is not to say that it is completely without positives. The album is an acceleration of rage, energy, and passion, with screaming lead singer instilling life and heartfelt rage (as well as the headache) into the repetitive tunes. Standout track is The Lonely Ones, carrying an infectious drumbeat presenting the mission impossible of keeping still while it blasts through your speakers. The Zico Chain ooze an admirable confidence in themselves and their music which, despite not yet having the goods to back it up, adds integrity and credibility to their sound and could very well be the driving force for future success. It is just the monotony and repetition of the album that grates on you after just a few minutes, which is just as well for an album consisting of songs compressed to under the three minute mark.
If nu-grunge is your thing, then ignore the Nirvana comparisons, resist the search for the revolutionary and enjoy it as an addition to this overlooked genre. For those that like their music without the headache and irritation, avoid this album.