[sic] Magazine

Zig Zags – Zig Zags

To paraphrase Steve Albini, if a record’s taking more than a week to record then someone’s fucking up. It’s a punchy sound bite and one that definitely applies to Zig Zags’ S/T debut. Recorded – presumably in little more than, say, an hour – by Ty Segall at his Sweat Lodge studio, it’s a demo-quality power-sludge romp in line with Segall’s own FUZZ project, scrappily psychedelic extracts like “Down The Drain” revelling under such conditions.

All the same, the LA trio are named after a budget shoe range (not rolling papers, they’re keen to stress) and are, therefore, slightly less inclined to reach for repeato riffs, preferring garage-punk subtlety and catchy distortion. The scuzzy, minute-long “Tuff Guy Hands”, for example, comes off like Black Lips at their most unhinged. Guitarist and explosive vocalist Jed Maheu recently explained, however, that “there’s a thought process behind how stupid” a Zig Zags song is, a simple paradox that if nothing else ensures for maximum fun. Remember this is a band that managed a hook-up with Iggy Pop in 2012 for a cover of Betty Davis’s sleazy “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” before an LP was even a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

Accordingly then there’s a degree of the tongue-in-cheek to the bonged-out, Sabbath-shredding “Voices Of The Paranoid” and heavy metal “Magic”. Breakneck thrash “The Fog” is super cool too, closing with more sludgy Ozzy worship. The killer “Brainded Warrior”, on the other hand, is pure biker fuzz (drummer Bobby Martin’s stepdad was a Hells Angel for what it’s worth), a track with as much Motörhead in its DNA as anything. It’s an overblown groove the equally awesome “Soul Sound” takes to a natural conclusion via proto-punk nods from the likes of The Stooges and MC5. In turn, “Blazer” slays with white hot guitar action and, as the spoken sample says, “Dude / It’s so gnarly, man.” It all really is.

Best tracks: “Brainded Warrior” and “Soul Sound”

~Zig Zags is given its UK release August 25th 2014 on In The Red.~