The Zoo – Debut Album Review

The Zoo are an up and coming band from Spennymoor in County Durham.
Their sound has been likened to; The Datsuns, Jet, ACDC, Foo fighters, QOTSA and Wolfmother among others. They have a varied and eclectic mix of musical tastes but manage to bring it all together in The Zoo to make it one of the best up and coming bands in the North East. Recently The Zoo came out on top of the Guinness Battle of the Bands Competition.

The Zoo are:
Steven Fothergill – Vocals and acoustic guitar
Ryan Murray – Bass guitar and backing vocals
Jon Dixon – Guitar and backing vocals
Lloyd Croft – Drums

Their next live gig is at the O2  Academy, Night of Mayhem, Newcastle on Feb 19th

The Zoo manage themselves. For more information about the band why not check out them out here on Facebook

The Zoo – Volume One

Track 1. Together Crazy – As opening tracks go, this one hits you right between the eyes. It leaves you in no doubt about what you are about to receive. It is Classic Rock with bells on. Smashy and Nicey would be wetting their pants at this. It has everything you want, Fothergill is angry and powerful, Dixon’s rifts are taking you to Guitar Heroland and Croft gets you air drumming like Cozy Powell on steroids. Lets Rock!

Track 2. Got Me Up Again – A lazy laid back intro with relaxing bass from Murray, then Fothergill opens his lungs and we are off! I want to run, I want to be Rocky in training I want to fight I want to scream with the band!  I am on a journey into the Badlands of America, off to kick some ass, I cannot be stopped while this song plays, it is my super fuel! This track is 10 out of 10 for motivation. It certainly Got Me UP.

Track 3. Big Shot – This track, if released as a single and marketed properly would be a hit. Simply Brilliant, this is the best song on the album. Murray’s bass could be the Ox himself stood there. There is hints of the U2 here too. It ebbs it flows it takes you up and calms you down before smashing against the Rocks of Wrath only to nurse you better again…. and then it grabs you again and…, well, you get my drift.

Track 4. One Man People – A change of pace, more Genesis – and that’s not bad – This is potentially another single. It gives the album a balance. After the first three tracks, this one says “have a bit of a breather and a sip of your pint before we crack on”

Track 5. Gordon The Stalker – These lyrics are sung like a mentalist, about a mentalist. There is passion from Fothergill here, he feels it, so you feel it. Its personal. Gordon is undoubtedly a twat,  there is no getting away from it. The music has taken a change here too. More Levellers than the previous offerings of rock. This is well written and brilliantly arranged. The perfect album track really.

Track 6. All Over You  - Dixon does a great Hendrix was my first impression and, it sticks. Dont get me wrong, this is another good album track, its another driving song. I can just imagine hammering my big 4×4 up the arse of a slow Nissan Micra with this going at full belt. Oh Aye!!

Track 7. Red Money – Transported back to the heart of 70′s rock again with this tune. Another chance for Dixon to impress and, he does. I first gave this 4 out of 5 stars on iTunes. I will have to re-evaluate that. More like 5 out of 5.

Track 8. How To Love You Better – Commercially this is the best song on the CD. More of a rock ballad. A slow, recordy type start, the sound deepens Croft gives it big time, we build up, Fothergill and Croft belt this one out, the other two stick their claim to be heard in there as well, back down to a nice relaxed fade. This has MTV all over it. Classic in the making

Track 9. – Big Shot (Sketch: Audio Remix)  - If its not broke don’t fix it. A remix of the best song on the CD. Why? I would have kept this for the CD single. Still with a number as good as Big Shot, you cant screw it up that much.

The talent on this album is plain for any to see. I have used legends in my descriptions of the songs to give you, the reader a feel for the flashes of genius shown throughout the CD. The Zoo have every right to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.  The vocals are powerful and angry, the drums keep your head moving in time, the bass is the solid bedrock on which they have built the songs and the lead guitar is superb. This is a fantastic debut album. 9/10

There is to be a single released on the back of the album, as yet the lads have not decided what it will be. It will be from the album but with a new arrangement. I look forward to it. The CD is available from Ivy House in Spennymoor or you can contact the band direct using the number on their Facebook page.  You wont be disappointed.

The Zoo invite you to hear some of the Album at their Facebook page Music player here.

By Jim on February 10, 2010

Check out all the pics

2 Comments » RSS Comment Feed

  1. The ZOO Volume One is now available to download from iTunes.

    Watch out for their debut single in April

    Comment by Jim — March 9, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  2. I judged the BOTBs they won – they were stunning live performers and the album (while I see and hear it slightly differently to the review above) will kick your arse. A great band and a great record – buy it !

    Comment by PMSBULL — March 12, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

Leave a comment