# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Zombie Picnic - Rise of a New Ideology

  by Adrian Janes

published: 15 / 4 / 2018



Zombie Picnic - Rise of a New Ideology
Label: Golden Shred Records
Format: LP

intro

Self-styled ‘post-rock progressive’ band from Ireland Zombie Picnic who offer echoes more than originality, although well-played


Calling their record ‘Rise of a New Ideology’, it seems like Zombie Picnic’s second album should rival bands like the Pop Group for provocation. But as its six tracks are instrumentals, with the only voices coming from spoken samples, it’s hard to see what this ideology is even if it’s possible to make educated guesses, such as populism shading into authoritarianism as population pressures become too much (‘Democracy Cannot Survive’) and the general distrust of ‘experts’ (‘They See Science as Dangerous’). Musically, ‘Democracy’ is largely a slow, Pink Floydish guitar-led lament of ringing, pellucid notes which briefly bursts into more energetic life. ‘Science’ has some powerful guitar work, reminiscent of the more abrasive side of Robert Fripp, and the contrast of rough and smooth-toned guitars has a certain effectiveness. But as a piece it seems to lose almost all shape by the end. ‘DEFCON’ has something of a 1970's jazz-rock feel, except that the drums are much heavier than is typical of that style, while ‘Life-Support Systems’ is largely standard 1970's rock: dexterous though the playing is, it wouldn’t have been out of place being introduced by Bob Harris on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. Its virtually inaudible samples don’t enhance it either. If there is any ideology involved in the final two tracks, it would seem to be more that of therapy culture, or perhaps New Age. On ‘See Beyond’, a voice begins its instructions with “Step One: Remain calm” in an appropriately bland musical setting. Even though the tempo and energy picks up, and there is some guitar attack, it’s ultimately rather formless. Which leaves ‘Anger in Storage (Denial Will Follow)’, the one really successful track. Opening with heavy tom toms and strident guitars, like mid-paced hardcore, it falls away into a slow rhythm track and a sample is used to humorously comment on the preceding assault: “Wow! That was a lot to get off your chest.” The contrast of the soothing therapist voice with the stark backing, before a last blast of hardcore, makes this by far the most original track, as well as the most concise and well-honed. Zombie Picnic are clearly all more than competent musicians, and there are moments on all of these tracks where it’s impossible not to be impressed by their skill. But this alone doesn’t make for compelling music, and neither does the use of sampling which mainly seems random rather than integral to the music (compared to, say, Eno and David Byrne’s ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ or Public Service Broadcasting in general). Ultimately it’s an album that can be admired from afar, but not one that is really possible to take to heart.



Track Listing:-
1 Democracy Cannot Survive
2 They See Science As Dangerous
3 DEFCON
4 Life-Support Systems
5 See Beyond
6 Anger In Storage (Denial Will Follow)


Band Links:-
https://en-gb.facebook.com/ZombiePicnic/
https://zombiepicnic1.bandcamp.com/



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