Friday, September 14, 2007

Zambri: Zambri

By: Rinjo Njori

Pretty Girls Make Graves decided to call it a day this past year after an “experimental” album (Elian Vital) that didn’t feel right or faithful to their progression. Christie Jo and Jessica Zambri ably fill the void left by the Seattle post punk outfit by drenching their like sound with just enough anachronistic new wave sheen and aggro rock to cater to ever evolving tastes.

The first song on their self-titled EP, “Aliens” has post punk feel mixed with a sugar coated take on Siouxsie Sioux' and Karen O’s vocals. Chris C’s guitar is particularly infectious parrying between riffs and more intricate guitar chords. Countering with “Get Dressed,” Zambri ably take on gothic dance rock. The time changes in the song can be quite awkward, but nothing a few cocktails couldn’t erase.

“I Said”, best described as a ballad, finds Jessica/Christie Jo resembling Siouxsie at her peak with smoky overtones. Chris C’s guitar fades out as the piano takes over midway through the song for Zambri’s “November Rain” moment. You can’t imagine that any girl at heart wouldn’t be all over this song. “Hallways,” perhaps the biggest departure, could have been a Divinyls song back in the day. The backing piano is surprisingly strong when you consider the other “synth” stunts that are littered throughout these seven songs. However, during the chorus the ladies channel Christina Amphlett and the vocal style is more suited to the bands sound then when they sound like Siouxsie Sioux/Karen O.

Misnamed, “:20” runs just shy of the five minute mark. It is all over of the place, falling just short of the rock masterpiece achieved on “I Said” and the early 80s rock feel of “Hallways.” There might be two or three separate songs here. On the other end of the spectrum is “God.” The only other misstep on the album quickly devolves into Nine Inch Nails' style industrial that feels like an outtake from a Crow movie — just not that Crow movie.

Zambri EP puts together enough anachronistic ideas to make very engaging music. Their mix of guitar and synth walks the line between new wave and dance rock much like Andrea Zollo and the rest of Pretty Girls Makes Graves did when they broke out of Seattle. With their departure, Zambri are hitting the scene at just the right time.

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Grace Potter Rocking The Gear circa 2006!