Sunday, September 16, 2007

Review: Zerobridge - Havre de Grace

Label: self-released

Released: September 18, 2007

Zerobridge was formed by two Kashmiri brothers who grew up near the namesake of the their EP, Havre de Grace, Maryland. While this broader cultural experience may seem like a boon for the band, their music has little to do with the former and everything to do with the latter.

Zerobridge relies on the straightforward rhythms and the simple hooks of neo-new wave as the basis for their music. They suffer perhaps, because the new wave revival is getting played out and because it's hipper than thou musicians/fashion models are getting more annoying by the day. Zerobridge reminds me a bit of Modern English which is a bit on the periphery of what most bands of the genre borrow from. As with just about every pop or rock artist in the last 20 years, they also bear the marks of many hours with U2, so they aren't all that much different from the others in the game. What makes Zerobridge most pleasant though is that they don't seem affected by the hipster leanings of their peers. That alone makes them more palatable.

Havre de Grace would benefit from a bit of influence from their roots in Kashmir, but as it is, it really only draws from mainstream America. It's very listenable though and avoids the style over substance trappings that turn so many similar bands into annoyances.

Rating: 6/10

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Blogger taotechuck said...

Whoa, slow down there, Bobbo. What the hell do want them to do, become Cornershop?

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and I guess U2 wasn't Irish enough for you so they get a 6/10?

I think the point here is that the music is above average and certainly better than the slop labels are pushing on us...

10:20 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Chuck - I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I should rethink things!

Anon - With a few exceptions, U2 would get 8/10 or better, but they aren't just better than Zerobridge, they're better than just about anyone. My point was that they're lucky to have that cultural background to draw on and they didn't. The music itself is perhaps a little bit above average, but what makes them stand out is that they come across as more interested in making music than in being hip.

10:51 AM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

I think the point here is that the music is above average and certainly better than the slop labels are pushing on us...

Yeah, man, screw those labels and the slop they push on us. I mean, how dare Touch & Go shove TV On The Radio, Ted Leo, and CocoRosie down our throats? And SubPop with their infernal Shins and Postal Service? Damn their eyes.

Your comment is just ignorant, and it makes you sound like a member of the band who can't handle a little bit of kind criticism. U2 isn't a great band because they're Irish; they're a great band because they wrote great music that connected with their listeners. Likewise, all the multi-culti hoohah around Cornershop couldn't make them anything more than lame and overrated.

Whether you're in the band or just a fan, lighten up and accept the fact that Zerobridge is not the Almighty God of Rock.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point well taken - I should have said MAJOR labels and the majority of what gets to listeners thru their vehicles (commerical radio, etc.). I was just trying to point out that finding new bands like this isn't always easy and while I like your review and I like this band I just thought it was rough that the real down side is them not trying to be more cultural.

And yes I'm a fan of the band and I think I was far from calling them the Almighty God of Rock - but I do think they're good on their own without the cultural part.

So, we agree to disagree there...ok?

1:26 PM  

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