I’ve been cleaning most of this weekend. maybe it’s the change of the seasons or it’s a result of being at mom’s spotless house last weekend. Regardless, I’ve been cleaning like a maniac and have finally made it to the cleaning of my disaster of a desk. One of the biggest piles I have on my desk is of LPs and CDs to review so I figured that now is a good of a time as any to take a break from cleaning and check out some new music. I decided that it made the most sense to review an LP as those are taking up the majority of the space on my desk so I settled on checking out ‘Don’t Worry About It’ by ZEPHR.
I was intrigued by the intro track “A Pocketbook of Saints”. It really didn’t give me anything to go off of. The cover of the album had me thinking this would be a moe singer-songwriter vibe but this 25-second intro had me wondering if this would be a more artsy take on music that I frankly wasn’t in the mood for but what came with “Rosewood (Love Pain Joy and Rage)” had me a bit shook. Out of all of the ideas coming through my head, this was not what I had in mind. This track is powerful with a little La Dispute vibe hidden in between a punk drenched vocal part that comes off a bit sweet while still being a bit in your face. I let the surprise take over and found myself just sitting and taking it all in as this song played through.
I had finally shaken my shock as “Two Philosophers” started pumping through my stereo. The driving force behind this track was exactly what I needed to finish cleaning today while this odd sense of warmth and comfort that comes through on the vocals gave me all of the Sunday feels I was craving. “So It Goes” brought in a little more angst. The vocals are more shouty whereas the vocals on “Two Philosophers” felt a little calmer. That being said, ZEPHR has such a distinct sound that there’s no mistaking who this is regardless of the style of the vocals. “So It Goes” was an instant favorite of mine. It’s interesting musically and honest lyrically– my favorite combination.
“Phoning It In” calms things down just a little bit and brings the sense of warmth and comfort to the forefront. For a sleepy Sunday morning, this track was perfect. Even with the coziness that this track brought, there’s no lack of energy. The way “Phoning It In” turns into “Don’t Step On My Snakey Snake” is perfect. That coziness is replaced with a little bit more of a driving drum beat while the vocals don’t reach the style of aggression that they have in “So It Goes”. “Don’t Step On My Snakey Snake” split the difference perfectly and is a great example of everything that ZEPHR has to offer the listener. You get the punk influence, the indie-pop tendencies, and the sound that only ZEPHR can pull off.
I love the bassline and drums that kick off “Casey”. It’s the type of intro that really catches you and draws you in before the shouted vocals punch you in the face (in the best way possible). Although the lyrics are hard to understand due to the vocal styling on this track, I love the emotion that can be plainly felt with each word. “STE” trades in the angst for something a little bit more playful both musically and lyrically. This two and a half minute song flew by and, before I knew it, I was on to “Hangover Buddy”.
Although I’m not hungover today, I instantly fell in love with the lyrics of “Hangover Buddy”. “Won’t you be my hangover buddy? Won’t you be my hangover pal?” They are such simple lyrics and the title of this track definitely gave it away but I loved it. The style of this song comes off as a bit more tried, true and classic than the previous tracks but there’s still no lack of innovation on ZEPHR’s part. Although parts of this track felt familiar, you could easily hear ZEPHR’s influence on the track.
“Demons!” brings back that perfect blend of angst and calm in a way that only ZEPHR can pull off. The back and forth of aggressive and calm is a fight that I hope is never won. The raspy vocals that take over for the calmer part of this track instantly reminded me a bit of bands like Banner Pilot and Dillinger Four. It’s got that punk edge while being heard loud and clear with a sense of emotion. That sense of emotion takes over completely for “Please Send Help” which instantly had my mind wandering. I wouldn’t call this background music as my ears were alert throughout this track, but there’s something calming about it that just kind of makes you want to drift off into your own mind.
“Great American Songwriter” shocked me back to reality in an abrupt way. The distinct shouting vocals came back in before calming down a little bit for the chorus. This track is treated with a sense of tenderness that I had yet to hear from this album but I loved it and wish I had heard more of this care throughout. Not to say that the rest of this album isn’t written with care, it’s just this vibe that you get from this track. Yeah, I can’t put it into words so you’ll just have to listen for yourself. This tenderness that I can’t quite put the right words to continues for “Don’t Worry About It”. There’s something painfully beautiful and heartbreaking about this track that I just can’t shake. The lyrics are raw and the emotion felt through the lyrics is every rawer making this a stand out track on an already stand out album.
Closing out this album on a high note is “Porch Beers”- another instant favorite of mine. It’s playful while still being full of emotion, conviction, and a vibe that is absolutely irresistible. It’s the type of track that makes you want to go back to the beginning and start the journey all over again so that’s exactly what I did.
‘Don’t Worry About It’ was nowhere close to what I thought it would be after judging it by the album cover and the intro song but it was a welcomed surprise. ZEPHR really has a sound that’s distinct and perfect and will definitely be in the daily playlist of my life for the foreseeable future
My Favorite Track(s): “So It Goes”; “Don’t Step On My Snakey Snake”; “Don’t Worry About It”; “Porch Beers”
For Fans Of: Angst; Surprises; Punk tendencies
Mosh-ability: 7.3 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid on the back of the couch; Autumn tried to chase the falling snowflakes from the windowsill
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
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