No matter the amount of EPs or singles that precede it or how well they’re critically received, a band’s debut album is of paramount importance for several reasons. Not only does it distinguish a sound they will have hopefully moulded and honed in its run-up, and not only does it set the bar for releases to follow; a debut album can literally make or break a band. In the case of London’s Zoax and their long-awaited self-titled full-length, you can bet that this is the making of a fruitful career.
The band have established a pretty unique style and identity for themselves with their 2014 and 2015 EPs (‘XIII’ and ‘Is Everybody Listening?’), and with ‘Zoax’, they’ve managed to funnel the strengths seen on those releases and amplified them to the forefront. Lead single and opener ‘The Bad Blood’ is a fitting transition for the EP to album evolution, and is a perfect quick snapshot of the band’s knack for splicing jazzy and shimmering guitar work and vocal cleans with gruff roars and jagged chord work. The easiest way to describe what the band create would be jazzy pop-metal.
Indeed, what Zoax have been able to do with ease since their inception, and what the album provides evidence of them perfecting is their ability to create songs that encourage you to plunge into the nearest mosh pit and throw every shape you know as much as it encourages you to polish your best dancing shoes, and shimmy the night away. If you’re looking for a band you could waltz with your partner to whilst incorporating a few head bangs, look no further.
What highlights the band’s active decision to be unique and keep things fresh for both themselves and their fans is not only creating an identity for themselves, but ensuring that each of these 12 songs also hold that same exclusive quality. ‘King And Queen’ is begging to bother radio stations across the UK and beyond, and ‘Roses All The Way’ will see that once you bop you just can’t stop. We also have ‘ZuperHeroez’, which has a twangy main riff in the verses that could easily have been crafted by Red Hot Chili Peppers whilst frontman Adam Carroll‘s abrasive roars clamber through with finesse, before we see his voice soaring like a gentleman in following number, ‘The Wave’.
Curtain closer ‘Slàn’, sees us off with a call-to-arms chant of “We sing it on and on and on and on, on and on and on…” that will have you joining in almost instantly. You know what, Zoax? Until we get a follow-up, you can be sure that we will be playing this album on and on and on and on, on and on and on…
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.