Review Summary: Blending the ignorant and intelligent styles of hardcore for 28 minutes of fun.
When I stumbled into my neighboring city's local venue last Saturday for a night of hardcore madness, I didn't know what was about to hit me with Zulu. The performance was stellar and it was only the beginning, because A New Tomorrow had yet to even drop. Experiencing it live is one thing, but I was curious to see what the full album would be like from a studio perspective. Much like the blissful sections of merriment dispersed throughout this new Zulu record, I waited for the pin to drop. Come today, ANT has arrived and I couldn't be more happy with the result.
As the album kicks off, the listener is immediately brushed with a sense of grace and passion trickling in from album opener "Africa" before immediately being thrown to the wolves. This serves as a perfect lead-up to the emotions that sum up the feelings of A New Tomorrow. Throughout the record it becomes evident that Zulu's point is not to be the heaviest, darkest, or even the most intelligent of the hardcore bands out there. Deep is not the point, though it strikes all the right chords. Different is not the point, though different they are. They're in it for the simple fun. Living and breathing with each track is the feeling that these songs were not just "thrown" together, but were led to their most sensible conclusions by the way the band's members felt it should be done. The album is loaded with crushing breakdowns and with the semifinal track on the album, they take the time to call out culture-jacking culture to keep things real and you'd be hard-pressed to find a set of harder hype tracks. Especially impressive is the fact that A New Tomorrow is self-produced which, while more common in this day and age, is a gargantuan task with all the nuance the album presents itself with. The sharing of vocal duties, frenetic pacing and structuring of each song, landmark features, and beautiful breaks between the brutality keep each song dynamically its own and serve as evidence that this is an album led by a good feeling, not a wisecracker's financial plan.
Compared to each other recent hardcore darling's journey, one could only assume that this is just the beginning for the Los Angeles HC group. As we enter a new era for heavy music, the world is their oyster. If you want a band who straddles the line of heavy genres with accessible appeal and creativity out the wazoo, Zulu is for you.