Exposé Online banner

Zubatto Syndicate — Zubatto Syndicate 2
(Boscology BOS-SZ-002CD, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-10-04

Zubatto Syndicate 2 Cover art

Looking at the second Zubatto Syndicate release, two facts are apparent. First, the sci-fi imagery from the first album carries through with the great cover art and titles like “BBots,” “Gort’s Big Day,” and “Go Go Giant Robo.” Second, two of the titles look suspicious: “Master of Puppets” and “The Zeyoncé Suite.” What’s up with those? The CD starts out with “BBots” and an uncharacteristic bit of synthesizer noodling, but then the big band kicks in, and we’ve got some classic Zubatto going on. By “classic Zubatto” I mean a modified jazz big band of brass, saxes, and a rhythm section augmented by some unexpected sounds from double reeds. The clarinet, oboe, and bassoon give the ensemble an orchestral tint, but the prominence of leader Andrew Boscardin’s electric guitar leads in a rock direction. The overall sound comes off as reminiscent of classic soundtrack music from the 70s – you could easily imagine them playing the theme from Streets of San Francisco or Ironside. To a listener unfamiliar with the original, Boscardin’s arrangement of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow – it sounds completely of a piece with the rest of the tracks, and even a Metallica fan might not pick up on the source immediately. The same goes for the medley of Beyoncé songs… and as I’m not really very familiar with her music, the only thing that stands out is that the melodies are less twisty, more hummable. (It occurs to me that for many publications, admitting to unfamiliarity with Beyoncé’s music would be tantamount to an admission of incompetence, but luckily that’s not the case here at Exposé.) Special mention is in order for “Iggy (Igneous Carapace),” a live favorite getting the studio treatment here, and in addition to a fine guitar solo from Boscardin, it features an amazingly acrobatic clarinet solo from Beth Fleenor. “Thyonean Butt Rock” is another stand-out piece. I don’t know where Thyonea is, but their music is cool. Zubatto Syndicate are like the fun, eccentric uncle at the chamber-rock / RIO family reunion, the one who hangs out at science fiction conventions and joins geeky anime clubs.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): James DeJoie, Zubatto Syndicate

More info
http://music.zubattosyndicate.com/album/zubatto-syndicate-2

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Penny Arkade - Not the Freeze – In the last issue I covered the reissue of the two strange albums (Apache and Inca) credited to Maitreya Kali, who, it is now known, was Craig Smith, formerly of an obscure LA psych band called Penny...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues