A zealot is someone who by definition has such intense emotions towards a particular ideal or notion that they believe all others should share in their standards and practices. This isn’t such a terrible premise if that ideal involves believing in the true spirit of rock and roll. After listening to The Zealots new EP, ‘Broken Glass‘, I think they’ve got a pretty good hold on that.
“I’ll be tappin’ my toes while I shake, rattle, and roll to these little ditties for some time to come.”
The album starts off with a luring bass and drum combo, then kicks into full force with some impressively cranked up guitar work on the track “Ghost“. This song has a very mid to late 90’s, early 2000’s alternative rock feel to it with its down tempo, low sung verses but throws in high octane sung/yelled choruses reminiscent of an earlier, more “classical” era of rock. The band does a fantastic job of seamlessly blending the two genres together even if it wasn’t intended so. The intro guitar on “Water In A Wineglass” brought out that daydreamer in me, and all of a sudden I pictured myself cruising down the highway on a sunny day, and just enjoying the breeze. It’s got that hard hitting edge you’d want for a little head bangin’, yet has a fun enough feel to be your soundtrack for a beer on the dock. It’s funny that the next song “It’s Always London In Your Brain” almost literally puts my head’s state exactly there. Now I’m not pontificating on Big Ben or the Queen, but more so I’m figuratively taken to what I’ve been lead to believe is an amazing music scene littered with fantastic booze fueled parties and adventures. Possibly this isn’t lyrically what they were going for, but that’s the magnificent and interpretive beauty that is music. Emotionally that’s what I felt, and it made me happy (the music did its “job”). On the final track you get the feeling like something’s gone wrong, but you have the power to make it all right again. The opening lyrics “I don’t think I can handle the stress anymore. The sins of my father, my mother, my brother are coming for more. My mind is clouded, and full of smoke. I know this is right now, I’m taking what’s mine now. I’m coming home.” stresses the urgency of just that point, and the music overall reflects that. That’s a pretty awesome and powerful message to end with.
That might be the one negative about this offering from the Zealots of Bettendorf, Iowa. Even though it is just an EP it still feels like it’s cut off a little short. Yes, an EP contains more songs than a “single” (clearly), but less than a full LP, yet I was still left wanting more. One could only hope there’s more to come soon.
Though this may not be the epitome of originality it’s a more than welcome change to the pop influenced, “Top 40” dredge that passes for rock’n’roll these days. I’ll be tappin’ my toes while I shake, rattle, and roll to these little ditties for some time to come.