GadZukes

Gad Zukes - Anyone Out There?

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Review by Liam Taylor. Today I'm listening to the new 5 track +1 bonus track E.P. from Gad ZukesFight The Silence. Opening with a satisfyingly crunchy guitar-driven stacatto, Take Another Shot is an upliftingly combative rocker. The combined female and male vocals put me in mind of Fletwood Mac and Steeleye Span, (if that's not a complement then I'm afraid we can't be friends), but with modern-feeling production, riffs and vocal harmony.

The reggae-infused Make It Happen has a Police-esque rhythm section and catchy vocals. Of particular note are the Stewart Copeland style drums. There's a slightly jarring electro 2nd verse which I imagine would work really well for live performances. It's not so effective on the record, (IMO), but it does serve to add dynamic variety to the piece. The chorus is charminly uplifting: "look towards the future; make it happen, make it happen."

Track 3 is the softer, low-tempo How Can I. There's some interesting chord choices which make this much more than a standard, formulaic ballad. The track features some gentle, tasteful guitar playing along with a steady rhythm section.

Electric Vibe opens with a vocal hook which quickly sets the tone for this memorable stomper. Some expert ukulele playing thickens out the rock ensemble to a degree you wouldn't expect of a ukulele, and also adds a unique sonority which helps the track stand out. Some deft drum fills and walking bass lines remeniscent of early Status Quo will get this track stuck in your head.

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Track 5 starts small - oddly, something in the lead vocals remind me of Jemaine Clements. Perhaps the aquatic theme is putting me in mind of the Moana Soundtrack. As the track progresses, it developes into the kind of massive anthem in which we'd usually expect cheap Millenial Whoops, but GadZukes manage to avoid such cliché.

We're graced by a light and summery bonus track, which keeps the aquatic vibe - in keeping with Loz's fantastic albm art. The Good Stuff features a charming acoustic guitar melody, country bass, simple rhythm and airy vocal harmonies. There's a bit too much too this track to call it "twee", and the cheeky lyrics keep it from feeling too dainty. I agree, we should all "make love... -ly cakes"

Altogether, Anyone Out There? is a solid disk. Fans of Fleetwood Mac, GooGoo Dolls and similar pop-rock acts will find plenty to enjoy here, especially given the diversity between the tracks. If you're lucky enough to get the opportunity to see Gad Zukes live, I highly recommend you take it.

If you like, you can read Mickey Nicholas' review of Gad Zukes' Fight The Silence.

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GadZukes - Fight The Silence

Gadzukes Review by Mickey Nicholas,Photography by Jean-Louis Fressier at Bobital 2016

It’s cold, dark and wet. It’s nearly winter. Heavier coats, thicker jumpers and scarves aplenty. People practically mainline hot chocolate to stave off the winter blues. It’s not what I would call appropriate weather to be listening to cross-channel folk-rock family group GadZukes’ E.P. Fight the Silence. I don’t mean to say it can’t be listened to in the bitter months, rather that it deserves to be listened to in warmer weather, with bluer skies and shorter trousers. Maybe flip-flops. It’s made up of five tracks, and is an excellent showcasing of GadZukes’ musical talents, foot-tapping their way into ear-worm status with folk-rock anthems, edgy pop-rock hand-crafted for top-down driving and acoustic-fed dream-weaving.

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The first song, Ignite, is an indie-rock song that needs a little scene setting. Imagine, it’s spring break, you and four friends have decided to spend the holidays taking a road trip to an old hunting cabin. It’s a hot day- not unpleasantly so. You all climb into a sporty number with an open top, don your sunglasses and crank up the radio and feel the breeze running through your hair. It’s the song that comes before the creepy gas-station attendant gives you an ominous warning. It’s a driving song. It’s upbeat. It’s what happens when T-Rex and The Libertines have a holiday romance. It’s got a catchy hook, and has bits you can sing along to. A good, solid opener.

Gadzukes ReviewThe next song Getting It On, stars with a hard rock riff before moving into a catchy female-led track. It’s a little more country-rock than the first track. It moves like the tides, sweeping from mellow moments and building into foot-tapping territory with rapid fire lady-vocals.

Now for something a little different. Track three, In my Dreams is ethereal, atmospheric, a kind of semi-psychedelic folk track with haunting female vocals. It’s a pretty track, sweeping up from gentle to powerful, adding layers over the course of the song. It’s like watching someone build a puzzle, the colours, the shape is easy to see to start with, and as they go the larger picture takes shape. At first listen it comes across as a simple song, but that’s only because it’s so seamlessly structured.

Funk basslines and sing-along “yeah-yeah”s and “ooh”s mark out the fourth song on the E.P. Sweet Aroma. It’s probably the highest energy song out of the five, with it’s clean riffs and harmonising vocals. Folk rock put on it’s anthem suit, and took us out dancing.

Gadzukes Review

Before reviewing Fight the Silence, I was told GadZukes were 40% steampunk. Pirates in the Sky, the last song on the E.P., is a folky, pop-esque rock track that contains that 40%. It’s not any old acoustic track with gears glued on. It’s a story for the most part. Folk-pop swerves into a sort of dream-like narrative, gently winding it’s way into your head with a catchy chorus and acoustic guitar. It’s a good way to end the E.P.

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