|Zico Chain - 'The Devil In Your Heart' (Suburban Records)|
|Written by Ian Bell|
|Saturday, 14 April 2012 05:00|
This people, is the sensory orgasm of 2012. If you love your tunes and attitude in the categories of hard, heavy, loud, dirty, anthemic, melodic, uplifting, and just plain HUGE, with layers of quality that unfold and grow on each listen, this is an album to remind us why your addictions, quirks and nerdisms about the music you love are justified. And best of all this is 100% British lean rock 'n' roll muscle (with brains) ready to take on all comers from all every corner of the world.
Since stumbling across Zico Chain, supporting the Levellers of all people, I was impressed enough to enquire after a two track sampler offered at the merch stall, which duly ended up being purchased after being finally persuaded by the band's "we need diesel" hard sell tactics. As reward for my show of faith the plain cardboard sleeve was signed by the band with the added scrawl of ''when we're big sell this on eBay''. On listening to the two tracks in the car on the way home it proved how wrong I was about them being simply "an OK Nirvana-like" band whilst watching them live, as I listened to 'Rohypnol' and 'Matchbox' rip my car stereo apart. I have seen them quite a few times more since - from clubs to arenas, the latter when they supported Velvet Revolver and rock royalty Slash and Duff proclaimed them to be the "their new favourite band". To this day it makes no sense to me how debut album 'Food' didn't make more of an impact. Then came a period of genuine concern at the lack of activity in camp Zico as thankfully inaccurate rumours circulated they were no more. That was until news finally broke that a new album 'The Devil In Your Heart' was ready to go. The band themselves proclaim this album as 'a high five to the inconsolable in all of us, a celebration of triumph and relief, born through the eyes and ears of three musicians who had to go there to come back' hence explaining the long hiatus.
On first hitting play I must admit, I was nervous, what if it didn't match the quality of 'Food'? But as the scream of "you've got the devil In your heart" bellows out of my speakers, followed by a bass line to churn the soul and a drum beat to give your senses a good kicking, a rousing chorus welcomes the arrival of album opener 'Evasion'. Quickly my nerves are put back in the locker, as this is Zico Chain laying down the challenge. 'The Real Life' lifts the quality bar up a level again with a massive fist in the air chorus full of intent and anger, whilst 'New Romantic' spins in with a slow build up before bursting into life with backing vocals and a chorus so big this is heading for major air play, even with a bass line straight from the church of Maiden this track has quite a My Chemical Romance feel to it. 'Mercury Gift again builds slowly and is another track that will have entire arenas screaming along over the twists and turns and time changes that help craft this jewel of a track, including orchestral support with a snarling menace.
'A Thousand Splendid Suns' keeps the standards to the high levels that have become expected from the trio chopping and bouncing along with the obligatory infectious chorus, 'Our Evil' meanwhile is a song for you and me brothers and sisters, it's about our love of all things rock delivered in a spitting punky style from the soul of 'Food' but with the sleaze and chops of say the Backyard Babies. Then in almost direct contract 'Case #44PQ_110807' has a synthesised gothic intro firing you into a fine slab of anthemic gothic rock.
'Black Turns White' has a developed grunge vibe and is actually more reminiscent of Soundgarden or even Faith No More than Nirvana as it grinds along demonstrating the new level of maturity Zico Chain has reached with this album. 'Perfect High' continues that slow, dark and moody grunge vibe before 'More Than Life' slows things down to acoustic pain before once again building on symphonic guitar grind, drums snapping and stabbing away at the sadness contained within the lyrics. 'I Am Silence' which closes proceedings is actually quite Marilyn Manson, but back when he had something to offer, yet at the same time it also grows into a classic Zico Chain song.
'The Devil In Your Heart' has the magic ingredient of remaining radio friendly from beginning to end, and is totally addictive. It is huge in sound and deserves to be huge in success, which in turn should then leave me with the decision of whether to stick that aforementioned two track signed CD on eBay or not- like I friggin would.
Ladies and gentleman, 'The Devil In Your Heart', if you gamble on one CD this year make sure it is this one.