Ziff — Stories
(Musea Angular SKAN 8200.AR, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01
This is the first release I've heard on Musea's new side-label Angular Records, so it's too soon to predict what the 'sound' of the label will be, but for this release at least, fans of Rush, Saga, Jadis, and neo-prog in general should take note. Ziff is a German four-piece, g/b/k/d with guitarist Achim Fricke handling the lead vocal chores capably. The lyrics are – with the exception of one song – in English, and although a slight accent is to be heard, it's nothing that will detract from the overall statement. My only minor gripe would be that there are too many lyrics, and not enough purely musical breaks. Over the course of a 72 minute disc (yeah, that's too long, also) it tends to wear down the appreciation. Musically, they are comparable to many neo bands, an accessible combination of catchy melodies and changing rhythms, all drenched in gobs of keyboards. The rhythm section doesn't draw much attention to itself (it would no-doubt fail the Borella complexity test!), but it does support the keys and guitar well, in turn offering their support for the vocals. Occasionally there are some senseless rhythmic changes that serve no purpose and seem a bit awkward (the mess near the end of "Crash Kids" being one case in point), but for the most part they've got their compositions under control. A promising first effort that fans of Jadis, Pallas, and similarly styled bands should be able to appreciate.
Related artist(s): Ziff
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more