Exposé Online banner

Zan Zone — It's Only Natural
(Randomaxe LP1X004, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-04-13

It's Only Natural Cover art

Zan Zone is a Brooklyn NY based seven-piece led by guitarist Zan Burnham. The band has three previous releases; the most recent was Shorts from 2013, but It’s Only Natural has an expanded lineup featuring three singers not counting Burnham (who sings on several numbers): Phillip Dessinger, Sabrina Clery, and Arianna Burnham. The female voice on “He’s Coming Home,” presumably Clery, is amazingly powerful and soulful, making that one of the standout tracks on this eleven song set, though a close second would have to go to the acoustic based “Things That Make Me Cry.” On most of the cuts there are more than one singer, harmonizing and often alternating the lead. The rest of the band are outstanding players as well — drummer Kurt Bergland, bassist Saadi Zain, and in lieu of a keyboard player, vibraphonist Bill Ware. Their style is a point of confusion sometimes, they seem to be all over the map, mostly rock, pop, and alternative (whatver that is this week), but strong elements of jazz, soul, gospel, and folk inform their work as well. And blues, particularly on the almost-eight minute “Dem Blues Is Bad,” where Burnham’s neck-strangling guitar is spot on throughout, and the vibraphone solo is totally awesome, but Burnham’s “Blind Lime Burnham” vocal persona is just not convincing at all, almost irreverent, seeming to make the piece a joke. The opening instrumental that gets it all going is “For the Rising Sun,” a powerhouse that showcases all the players nicely and a memorable composition to boot, while “Let It Go” is a hard rocker that seems to give early-Heart a run for their money, with Clery’s voice again reigning supreme. Any song here taken by itself is quite excellent, but all put together results in quite a remarkable hodge-podge of stylistic disorientation. All that said, it still grows on you with repeated listens.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Zan Zone

More info
http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/zanzone4

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Arkus - 1914 – I'm not sure how many times I've had to listen to this to review. It seems like I forget about it after every time I listen to it. Arkus is a Dutch symphonic group and this album is from the early...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues