It was 1993 and three of my favorite bands at the time were Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails and Guns N' Roses. It’s amazing how much reach these bands have had over the decades. For Zoey Baker a.k.a. Zoey The White Lioness, NIN and Nirvana seem to be have been an integral factor when making music.
Zoey mentions that the music on the release The Down is “for that angst you buried as a teenager.” I definitely felt that when listening to the music. The lyrics and the delivery as well have this sort of isolated youth feel. It can be tough for younger people to connect coming up through high school. That’s a major reason music like NIN and Nirvana were popular in the first place. A band like Nirvana seems like it would resonant more now than ever with all the reports of younger people feeling isolated through social media.
The EP starts with “Lead Me To The Sun” and it definitely has a Nirvana vibe to me mixed with an early 00’s post grunge feel. It consists of distorted guitar chords, drums and very subtle synths. The lyrics certainly have the goth inspired journal feel. Zoey sings, “Life in this world is so uncomfortable when you see devils becoming pharaohs, / And oh it's just so hard to stay alive.”
Up next is “Keep Out” which is a hard hitting song about feeling ostracized. That being said, it also seems to be about a couple who shouldn't be together. The song even mentions physical violence. “Echo” is the arguable highlight. It’s a jagged song that features an intense outro that adds on to the guitars and drums with other effects. “Under The Ice” is another good song and one of the more melodic and catchy out of the batch. Last up is “Red” which is a solid song but very lo-fi.
The recording quality is lo-fi but also very varied in terms of frequencies, volume and more. I would encourage Zoey to consider working with a mastering engineer at some point who can comb over these intricate technical discrepancies. That being said although there were different sonic imprints on the songs there was enough of a common thread in the songs in terms of aesthetics I was able to appreciate it.
Although I no longer have teenage angst I can certainly appreciate it. I’m glad that an artist like this is keeping the flame alive.
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