Chris Noir (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Williams (drums) and Katie Skilton (vocals) are Zed Motel. The three-piece band from the U.K. released a three-song EP entitled Black Square. The EP goes by in a flash and is about ten minutes long.
The music is no frills garage and classic rock with only a guitar and drums. It's a very basic sound and style that has been essentially mimicked for decades (just without the bass). That being said it's really enjoyable greatly in part due to the vocals. Don’t get me wrong the music is solid. It's just been run through the gamut countless number of times. There's something really aesthetically pleasing about their vocals. It’s hard to pinpoint but Skilton’s vocals work well with this music and I thought the vocal harmonies were well implemented as well.
Up first is “Black Square” which may be the highlight. The verse in particular is infectious and I was humming along almost immediately. Once the chorus hits the band goes into a pretty standard Led Zeppelin-esque riff. Overall, it was a very satisfying song that felt raw with just about the perfect amount of production.
Up next is “Toledo” which is another solid track. It’s catchy and supported by a crunchy guitar and drums. They close with “The Dye” and the band goes three for three. It rocks out and has notable vocal melodies.
I liked this band a lot. I also have to admit I wanted a little more from the music. They are tight and can deliver but I wanted something that defined the band’s own essence a little more and what was unique about them. I realize that's hard with a skeleton setup but incorporating things like looping, filters , delays and more into the mix and pushing into territory I wasn't expecting would have made this more appealing to me.
Overall, they have a boatload of potential and have the right tools. I would like to see if they can push their creativity into unpredictable areas next time around.
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