Exposé Online banner

ZX+ — Don't Drink the Water
((Not on label) Play & Record Records PRR4, 2015, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-10-27

Don't Drink the Water Cover art

Stephen Evans, AKA ZX+, is another new musician who I first encountered via FdM. He had a crazed cover of Syd Barrett’s "Jugband Blues" on last year's compilation A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl and then a crazed cover of The Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow” on a member’s only compilation released this spring, Strange Fruit and Veg. Now on August 20, Stephen released a full-length ZX+ album Don’t Drink the Water with 13 short songs spanning a total of 31 minutes. There is a touch of pop, a touch of psychedelia, and a bit of rock thrown in for good measure. Stephen plays most everything, but he is joined by Mary Joanna Coogan (backing vocals) and Mark Coupe (drums). Some of these songs are stripped down to the essentials of vocals, guitar, and drums. Others have a bit more fuzz added. The first song that caught my attention is the oddly named “-“ or I guess hyphen. This song begins with acoustic guitar that is then joined by a buzz saw electric guitar lending an Eno-esque vibe from his Before and After Science period. A couple of the other songs reminded me of Arthur Lee and Love, primarily the chord structure and acoustic guitar lines: “Pet Sematary” and the title track. The title track also has a 60s TV Theme vibe similar to “Fireball XL5.” “The Desert” has a very catchy riff and the music lies somewhere between gothic-Western and surf music. “Just Like That” is a slow trippy ballad with acoustic guitar and twinned electric guitar lines. Then we have “The Raven” with the repeated lyric “nevermore” that has some similarity to “Christmas” from Tommy. Another favorite is the beautiful Beatle-esque instrumental “For Him or Her.” One last thing to note is the strange and surreal cover art that borders on the grotesque. Think of it as an extract from Dali’s sketchbook. It reminds me of the cover art on Dschinn’s self-titled album, Dzyan’s Electric Silence, and Klaus Schulze’s Blackdance and Timewind. Overall, a bit of a mixed bag, but nonetheless an enjoyable listening experience.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): ZX+

More info
http://facebook.com/zedexplus

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Magma - "Les Voix" - Concert 1992 Douarnenez – Magma's Christian Vander has decided to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa, Andy Latimer, and others in an effort to fight the bootleggers, and has started his own record label AKT to release...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues