Thalia Zedek Band - Eve

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:5 Release Date:2016-08-19

Thalia Zedek, a veteran of the music scene for decades now, first took interest in music from a penchant for Patti Smith, and you can hear the poetry-heavy dissonant influence all over this record. Patti Smith is one of my long-time musical heroes as well, so my sights were set pretty high. While I hear certain hints, my biggest problem with Eve is the utter lack of variety, which amounts to an endurance test through some depressing, gray waters. Patti may have had her self-indulgent moments, but she also rocked like a mother. Ms Zedek’s plaintive, nasally, monotonous whine might serve her style to a tee, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a broader audience. It’s especially unfortunate because there is much here to appreciate, if only her grasp embraced the musical reach of her band.

Her songs are layered with gorgeous strings, trebly blues riffs, and other haunting sounds that give the album a compelling sound. There are touches of blues, country, grunge, and punk in these oft-sparse numbers. However, it’s the vocals that make these ten songs, many of them over five minutes, hard to sit through, with the same bland vocals that turn grating after a few numbers, my mind begging for something to pull me out of the morass of misery. Thalia Zedek is listed as having a “distinctive” voice, but I can say that I’ve heard it before, not only in Patti Smith, but also in Exene Cervenka circa 1982. Fortunately for her and fans of X, John Doe’s croon provided much-needed balance and the band’s punky ethos made the combination work to perfection. On the other hand, Zedek seems content with her droning atonal sound. You could argue that this makes her a unique artist, and you’d be right…so, you know, props and all of that. Cough.

This navel-gazing album of buzz-killers would make great music to burn candles and scrawl in your worn journal, or crawl into a warm bathtub with a razor blade, and that might just be your particular cup of hemlock. As for me, I could only suffer through a few songs at a time before I felt a suffocating cloud overtaking my body, like the one in that old Star Trek episode, ready to drain all the life out of me.

 

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