Plus Points

ZX+

Sickly

Play and Record Records

Release: 25th April 2013

Lots of things make their way into the listening alcove here at Aural Delights HQ. Over the last few years I’ve consumed and filed away a serious amount of music, indeed I’ve been trying to catalogue it all recently, which has been a time consuming, but ultimately rewarding experience. A lot of it you don’t get see me whittering on about on here – mainly because it’s not up to the rather high standard I have set for playing music on the radio, and now the podcasts, and for writing about.

It’s also been my pleasure of late,  to see a large number of very impressive local bands and musicians plying their art in the pubs and bars of this metropolis. One of those bands, who I was particularly fond of, is no more and one of its’ former  members, who wishes to retain a degree of anonymity for the purposes of this portion of his music,  happens to be who I am writing about on this occasion.

ZX+---Sickly---PRR1---12inch_3mm_v92012---Half-Sleeve

This is the 5th collection of tunes I have had the pleasure of listening to from the mysterious ZX+. In simple terms it’s safe to say that he deals in quirky and progressive english music delivered with a substantial amount of style, exquisite technique in the guitar department, and delightful vocals. It is, without any doubt, his best work to date.

For ten of your pounds you will get a handsome slab of white vinyl (of which there are only 250 copies in existence) and fourteen rather marvellous tracks.  You will also get a varied, indeed, eclectic collection of music, which is a fascinating listening experience.

Matters commence with a nugget of garage pop in “He Said He Was A Taxi Driver” which is both driven (see what I did there) and infectious and proceeds through the leisurely “Sickly” and the jaunty “Kiss Kiss”, which moves through several complex parts and is utterly marvellous,  to the very more-ish para skank of  “Dolph” – one of several references to “action heroes” in the collection.

The perky acoustic pop of “Rebecca” is followed by the moody and intense “Wrong About Her”, and then more garage pop via “Waiting for a Quantum” and “Seagal” which dwells on channel hopping and the more obscure end of TV Output and has a nice riffy middle part which leads into stunning closing section. Next up is the dreamy “Logan” which has delicious guitar tones and a lovely wah-wah solo and some tasty slide guitar which fades away far too quickly for my liking.

“And now it’s blood” brings back that slight Jamaican feel and morphs into something quite different indeed – with buzz saw guitars and intense vocals, it’s one of the highlights of the album. The closing trio of the impressive “Smile” with it’s shifts in tempo and structure (and a subtle use of mouth harp), the jittery “Brick” which comes across as mutant frat-boy pop, and the elegaic closer “Instrumental” (which is indeed an instrumental) are a tasty dessert to a sumptuous musical feast.

As a purveyor of 21st century Anglo-centric music ZX+ is the latest in a long line of great songwriters like Ray Davies, Nick Lowe and Robyn Hitchcock, who compose memorable music with great lyrics. I recommend this album to you unreservedly.

You can acquire said artefact here http://www.playandrecordrecords.blogspot.co.uk/ – and I suggest you do as it is, all in all, rather fine indeed!

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