Zolas - Ancient Mars

  by Gillian Fish

published: 12 / 1 / 2013

Zolas - Ancient Mars

Label: Zolas
Format: CD
Chilled out and enjoyable, but not especially distinctive second album from Canadian duo, the Zolas


The Canadian duo comprising of Zach Gray and Tom Dobrzanski return with their second album, ‘Ancient Mars’. It is a chilled out affair with echoing vocals, and a good helping of reverb pianos and melodic guitars. It is somewhat of a departure from their debut album ‘Tic Toc Tic’, which has more of an upbeat vibe. Opener ‘In Heaven’ contains a repetitive piano melody along with a psychedelic guitar solo that makes for a promising start. Following on from this is the first single to be taken from the record, ‘Knot in My Heart’. It builds up to a melodic chorus with lovelorn vocals from Gray. In fact the album as a whole provides fairly raw and emotionally charged vocals. ‘Local Swan’ is sweet and nostalgic with its "When all your friends are photographers/Will you remember me?" lyric and it bounces along with plenty of ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhs’. In fact it is probably my favourite track on the album. ‘Observatory’ nestled into the middle of the album, however, is forgettable and doesn’t have anything that grabs your attention. A slightly rockier, upbeat sound can be heard on ‘Strange Girl’ which is full of summery guitar riffs and a ‘sing-along ‘chorus. It is unlikely the Zolas will ever receive the recognition of fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene or Arcade Fire, and from listening to ‘Ancient Mars’ you get the impression this band are yet to decide exactly what their sound should be. ‘Ephrates and Tigres’ starts with an excellent guitar riff which sounds promising but then tails off into something far less exciting. ‘Cold Moon’ also has potential but still doesn’t quite satisfy. The Zolas are a band I really want to love, and despite enjoying Gray’s voice I am not immediately taken with this album. I think ‘Ancient Mars’ may be the true definition of a grower. It is definitely isn’t going to catapult this band into the mainstream but it is nonetheless an enjoyable, ‘chilled out Sunday’ kind of record.

Track Listing:-

1 In Heaven
2 Knot in My Heart
3 Ancient Mars
4 Strange Girl
5 Escape Artist
6 Observatory
7 Local Swan
8 Euphrates and Tigris
9 Cold Moon
10 Cultured Man

Band Links:-


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