Review Summary: Two guys creating tight, experimental music that will get you in a smooooove feeling!6 of 6 thought this review was well written
Zelliack- Zack Ordway(Z...ack) and Elliot Coleman(Elli), a two-piece band creating and mixing, well, many different genres. I will start of by making one of the most common mistakes when doing a presentation or a review, namely mentioning even before starting that I will probably not be able to give you the correct aspect of this band. But there are reasons for this statement and hopefully I will be able to tell you why and by that also give you some understanding of this band!
To start of with, Zack Ordway is the man behind the instruments, who is by all means killing it! The effort he put into this album is astonishing and I can only say that there is not a single second where he has been sloppy with the guitar line, or being out of sync with the drums or the piano! The technicality is even more profound, the bass lines can sometimes be all over the place, but in a good way, the guitar solos goes from simple and secure into being fast and super ambitious! He plays in different time signatures, in different keys and tries out a vast majority of styles - a true musician if you ask me!
Elliot Coleman, former member of TesseracT, has, luckily, the voice that goes great with what Zelliack is trying to sound like. Being a high pitched singer he pushes his voice from time to time and really raises the roof on this album. Then, moments later, he steps on the brakes and brings the album to a new, much slower phase. The song ´Hargrove´ is a perfect example of this, where he starts of real low and slow, then the verse kicks in and it is a completely new feeling, but still keeping the same groove (three minutes in, something REALLY interesting happens). He does a great job of showing off his range and it goes well with the music.
As mentioned earlier, this band is changing genre in one song more often than there are songs on the album. Only by looking at the tags on their Bandcamp Page (http://zelliack.bandcamp.com
) you can tell this is an interesting mix of music. Jazz, Soul, RnB and Progressive Rock is what is supposed to set the tone of 'Noir Tone' ('Noir' means 'Black' in french). I'd say the primary focus is progressive/alternative rock, but you would be mistaken if thinking that that is the only thing you would be hearing. To be honest, the amount of jazz and soul that is forced inside this 21 minute "long" EP is remarkable, it is mere a brief second that goes until you are introduced with a new set of rhythms and chords. And by being to me a fast paced band, there are still some really calm and beautiful moments that gives you some breathing time, with elements of ambient music and soul, it is this that makes this band so outstanding and anti-mainstream, they mix it up but still keeps the same groove and feeling throughout the songs. This is also the reason to why I cannot give you the right understanding of the band, basically because I cannot describe their "messed-up" music style. Even though, this should not scare you off!
One of the few problems that I did found with this EP was the lack of time, with only 21 minutes to fill with music, there is a lot going on, almost too much. There are moments where you have a chance to catch your breath and think for a second, but then ten seconds later something new pops up and your mind instantly starts to think of what is happening, even though really interesting, still a bit overwhelming. By stating this I obviously want a full-length which hopefully will give them more time to experience with new possibilities.
The other thing I would like to talk about is the songwriting, I cannot really say that I am super impressed with it, but yet, the lines are very likeable. Even though Elliot sings really great, the metaphorical value is not the highest and the message is straight forward. The last song on the album, 'Call Me Old Fashioned', goes something like this:
"Can I take you to dinner
I promise I'll use best behaviour.
The white wine we sip is the fruit of my labor
It's possible, you are for me."
Very clean and simple lyrics, with not that much mystery to it, but still, it somehow manages to intrigue you to read them out loud and just sing along to them.
My advice is to not listen to this EP while having a headache or being really tired, listen to this EP when you are in a good mood and wants to feel even better! It is a lot to handle and if you are not used to this kind of music it can take a few listens until you really start to like it! It is uplifting and it is almost making you laugh at all the crazy things that are happening, and I am still, after the 30th listen, left with the astonishment that TWO people have created this masterpiece called Zelliack.