ZOMBI & Friends, Volume 1
The prolific Zombi (Steve Moore on bass and synths, Anthony Paterra on drums) reached out to a few friends (members of Trans Am, The Sword Zao and Pinkish Black) to help them realise a few choice power-pop and prog-lite covers. It’s a wonderful range of music that explores the synth-y or boosted by their synths outer limits of what was trendily dubbed Yacht Rock a few years back. So, Eagles, Alan Parsons Project and Michael McDonald-era Doobies then. But also Eddie Rabbit, Dionne Warwick and more. It’s a brilliant selection of tunes, winningly kicked off by a soulful and stirring version of the Barry Gibb/Barbra Streisand duet, Guilty.
What a song. And now it lives again.
Zombi’s stock move is to cover old movie scores (John Carpenter) or simply make their own versions, instrumentals so ripe, so ready to be in an 80s horror movie that you have to double-take when you find out they’re brand new.
Pinkish Black’s singer, Daron Beck, is the super-sub here, elevating Zombi’s instrumental brilliance to a svelte lounge act – his vocals poured atop the sound like a liquid honey.
Where Chromeo covered I Can’t Tell You Why with a barely contained smug irony, Zombi and Beck just drive on through as if there’s nothing to see here beyond a really good song. Yeah, yeah, I hate the fuckin’ Eagles too, man. But I rate this song very highly. Bad bands, or bands you hate, are allowed anomalies. We all contain multitudes after all.
Not that I hate them, but same deal with Alan Parsons Project, I’ve always loved Eye In The Sky, from guilty pleasure to just soft-shoe banger. And Zombi gives us not just that, but official Chicago Bulls anthem, Sirius, which is so perfect in this medley because it could serve as an unofficial Zombi theme.
As a child of the Minute By Minute-era of Doobies, I love the Zombi/Friends take on Takin’ It To The Streets.
There’s not a dud here actually – you will love this album I reckon – particularly the decision for it to end with Neil Diamond’s America, here presented as if almost a pro-wrestling theme. I’m in heaven!
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