Zulu Winter - Language
In a very small pond filled with a thousand other fish Zulu Winter really need to pull off something special if they want to make sure they aren't just another buzz band. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure they even come close to making a ripple with Language.
Each track is equally pretty lovely at first listen, in a soulless and empty way. Sure they get your head nodding along but more through an automatic reaction to this kind of shuffle beat rhythm they've got going on that you just can't resist. This is the kind of music you can get some serious work done to, there's no real danger of your train of thought being derailed any time soon.
'Key To My Heart' starts the album on a promising note. Expectant drums and a slow build to swelling wave like vocals bode well. Those waves crash, the beat comes in, and all is great. You get to the other side of the catchy little chorus however, and you hit disappointment because the track after all that promise doesn't really go anywhere.
It's a real problem that the album has. Second track 'We Should Be Swimming' feels so familiar at this point that it honestly feels like a cover song. I've heard the same type of track performed so many other times by similar indie bands that the song just doesn't even compute anymore.
Although, there are some redeeming factors. Every time the band slinks into a Friendly Fire's type groove with falsetto lyrics and a carnival atmosphere you get a glimpse into what these guys can really do. 'Silver Tongue' and 'Let's Move Back To Front' both have confidence and swagger, making that automatic head nodding a labour of dance induced love. 'Moment's Drift' is a superlatively great track, slowing the band down to a stop-start saunter that make me weep for what this album could have been.
Now I started to get infuriated by the end of this album at the sheer lack of imagination when it comes to song titles and lyrics. I physically cannot listen to 'Words I Wield' one more time unless I don't mind buying a new keyboard. Here's a quick lesson in how to write a Zulu Winter song: Step 1, come up with a title. Step 2, repeat that title constantly for the chorus. Step 3, don't write memorable verses, just steer the listener to the chorus and make sure that chorus lasts longer than the verse.
By the time you get to the end of the album you'll swear you just heard 3 good tracks spaced out by the same song 8 times. There's no defining factor to this band which means that sure, it'll make a so-so addition to your music collection, but you'll forget it even exists after two months if you're lucky.