ZEKE is one of those bands that has a reputation, proud and loud and boisterous, with a no-nonsense attitude and style. They are a band that is meat and potatoes as they come: Punk attitude, brash playing, loud as fuck with balls to spare. They are what happens when a coke addict takes a shit ton of methamphetamine, down a bottle of whiskey, learned to play via Motorhead and Ramones, and continued cranking shit to a volume of 11 and moving at 6th gear.
The band has been quiet since their signing to Relapse Records and the release of “‘Til the Living End” in 2004. Fast forward 14 goddamn long years and the release of “HELLBENDER” on Relapse Records. The wait, while long, sees the band not slowing down one bit. Seriously, this band is the old guys at the metal show who you make fun of and then they blow you out of the water, make fun of your shitty band and your skinny jeans, then fuck your moms while leaving town, all while giving the middle finger. That’s a good thing.
The entire album is legitimate bare bones punk rock and roll. No frills, all thrills with a pure “fuck it” mentality and an audacity to incite. It is pure punk rock and fucking roll. The drums are what you expect, full of fills and fast, keeping a constant beat and holding down the paces. The bass plays in the pocket, following the groove and not deviating from the simple fact that it HOLDS DOWN THE LOW END! And then let’s talk about the guitar. Punk rock in sounding, rock in delivery, there are solos (oh no! call the fashion police and the prog gods…fuck….Chuck Berry called from beyond the grave, he videotaped you on the toilet, and it turns out….you don’t have the balls to do a solo in a rock context) and they fucking wail, man, as they go with the song and compliment it. The guys can play and shred and know how to write. AND the songs are all under 2 minutes! AND THEY AREN’T A GRIND BAND!!!!! (No offense to grind as I am a huge fan, but goddamn it is refreshing.)
All in all, this is a fine piece of musicality and a damn good album by a ridiculously underrated and over looked underground band. The only issue is that it can be monotonous, but goddamn if this album is not a good time wrapped up in a kick ass delivery needed to turbo charge your life. Recommended for the fun time and the ability to help pass time during drives on barren highways.
Release Date: March 30, 2018
Label: Relapse Records
Favorite Tracks: County Jail, Ride On, Big Rig
For Fans Of: Motorhead, Old school punk rock, amphetamines, The Ramones