After discovering Zuu recently, here is the official Exploding In Sound review of their album "Everywhere"...
Every now and then a band comes out from seemingly nowhere to make a record that floors all who hear it. Creating a sound that is a hybrid of damn near everything I hold near and dear, Los Angeles’ Zuu have delivered the goods on their sophomore release “Everywhere”. Their sound is most certainly a familiar one, but putting a definitive comparison on them is impossible as they borrow and pull influence from many different styles to create their own breed of sound. Elements of The Stone Roses’ indie brit-pop, the stylish futuristic grooves of Autolux, the shimmering shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine, and the 90’s space rock of Failure fuse together to form much of the sound on this record. Whether you call it dream-pop, space rock, post-psychedelic, the key to Zuu’s elegance is restraint, never allowing the experimentation to stand in the way of the songs. At the core of “Everywhere,” this is a powerful pop record with massive hooks and just the right amounts of attitude and fury.
“Wasted Today” is the perfect opening for this record, with Omar and Emvy’s swarming guitars and Tyler’s bass buzzing through the introduction, breaking into the danceable, moody, and energetic backdrop. The songs vocal melody is entrancing, immediately striking resemblance to The Stone Roses finest work. With a memorable hook and very simple structuring, Zuu begin the album off on strong footing for an alternative rock hit. “Water” takes their space rock craft into the next stratosphere with circling atmospherics and trippy melodic lines from the guitars. Omar’s vocals again show strong degrees of Brit-pop, but sound terrific over the complex rhythm from drummer Erik. This is shoegaze meets space rock, and the vocal lines aren’t lost in the noise, and the band is all the better for that. “Nothing Special,” contains a breathy attitude and flare with the bleak hook of “Tell me something I don’t already know, I’ve got nothing to show.” Zuu are creating 90s alternative rock for the new millennium, and with songwriting like this, radio should be warned.
“Sigh” slows things down a bit, turning down the wavering guitar distortion in favor of gorgeous cymbal and drum work. The vocals are doubled for effect as the track drifts along in hypnotic motion. Borrowing a page from Failure, “Retrograde” is an ambient segue for a seamless transition into “When I Die.” Stellar drumming, mixes with the gentle shoegaze coast, and haunting keys pierce through the fog for great added texture. “Resolve” finds bassist Tyler taking over vocal duties, for a higher pitched space rock sound with a sharper and more abrasive pop tone. This is another nice texture in their arsenal, as Omar is given a rest for one track, creating a new sound that is still very much one with the album.
The discordant opening notes of “Why Oh Why,” set the tone for the terrific experimental qualities of the song. Heavily processed vocals cruise over sharp hard hitting drums with incredible swagger and grace. As the chorus breaks, the vocals come clean while the guitars skid and trail in angular bursts. The band gets a thick muddy distortion brewing during the bridge, sharply contrasting with the final chorus. “Rain” contains a jangly upbeat vibe with more great Stone Roses influence, as these Los Angeles boys give the seminal Manchester band’s following something they can truly embrace. They might not list them as an influence, but whether they are or not, Zuu’s sound is a terrific update of what began back in ’88. The harmonies are tight, the melodies soar, and the music is memorable, this is what pop rock should sound like. “Amnesia,” is another phaser shifting segue, twinkling right into the delicate acoustic bass sound of “Wearing Nettles.” The slow and spacey atmosphere creeps around with finger picked fury and expertly doubled vocals lead into the singular voice asking “What if I can’t pull my weight, what if I disintegrate?” The outer space vibe is bleak and airy, but unquestionably beautiful. Guitar effects bounce around lost in endless non-gravity, building and fading throughout the mix.
“Only One,” delivers a rougher space rock punch, with great washes of distortion in the bridge reminding everyone that My Bloody Valentine are very much an influence in the collection. “Loaded” is a thick stomping rocker with true noise pop qualities, and perhaps my favorite song on the record. This track is the culminating masterpiece of the album, but a bit of the shame it’s buried all the way at the end. The vocals and guitars surge and soar with psychedelic energy and intense wall of sound melodies similar to Autolux. “The End” finishes things out with a minute long outro of white noise. Zuu have a promising career ahead of them, with a diverse sound that could very well have the radio world taking notice.