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Zu - Fusionstonerjazz...?
After seeing the last five minutes of their show opening up for The Fantômas/Melvins Bigband I heard that they would be playing in our country a couple of days later. So I felt it was no more than decent to go and witness an entire show.
As I entered the venue, I noticed that I was entering in an entirely different cultural background. Here people actually think about what the room has to look like; contrary to the average metal venue where just everything is black and dirty. There even were seats and tables here! So after acclimatizing to this new surrounding and drinking a couple of beers, the show started.
And how! This band’s line-up consist of a monstrous drummer, a very freaky baritone sax and a killer heavy bass guitar (not a guitar, as I mentioned in the previous review). Not knowing any of their material, I was in for a surprise. As the first tone was struck on that bass my jaw already dropped. A big phat stoner distortion blasted at an immense volume from a killer amp, and from then on it was mental mayhem.
Rhythms that are beyond understanding, use and abuse of all three mentioned instruments in ways I’ve never seen before, and absolutely no vocals. The latter is also the excuse for being able to get away with printing shirts that say ‘Tom Araya is our Elvis’, of which I am now a proud owner.
Well to keep it slightly surveyable, I’ll discuss all instruments separately, because there was too much going on here.
Baritone sax:
This guy did not only blow out every tone this thing has, he also had a microphone dropped in the ‘exit’ (sorry sax players, I just don’t know the right word) which enabled him to pat on his instrument thus creating an extra percussive element. There were a lot of parts where this guy was simply abusing the high tones in a way that sounded highly uncomfortable, but very funny nonetheless. He also had a part where he just blew out the lowest tone, thus creating a drone effect which sounded very Sunn 0))) like accompanied by the bass guitar (and an impossible rhythm on drums). Then there also was a part where he got an extra trumpet-like thing to play, so he could blow on both instruments at the same time. Chaos!
This dude, dressed in an AC/DC shirt again, packs the power and the rhythmic elements to make sure you have to search for rhythms a lot. You sometimes even give up on that, since there’s no chance in hell you’ll find it. I like stuff like that. He made sure everything was in order, he functioned as the lifeline for the other two bandmembers.
He started out with a sort of china on his floor tom, which gives some cool effects. In average he didn’t use much weird stuff, he just played it, very skillfully.
Ah, my favourite part of this band. I already mentioned that this guy had a killer bad ass stoner distortion coming from a very tiny pedal on the floor, which he used very frequently. All I could do was enjoy it to the fullest. That’s right, I smoked a joint!
This guy also had his freaky moments, where he picked up a screwdriver and just tapped the strings, body and elements in no particular order or rhythm. Why? Who knows?!?! But it sure sounded cool, and it added to the madness. But there were some things that he did, I never even thought of. With that distortion going on, he managed to play a folk-flute like tune, which was accompanied nicely by his bandmembers. Fucking awesome!
Well as you can conclude with me, my jaw dropped to floor- and cellar level more than once this evening. Incredible show, by an incredible band of which I’m planning to own all of their albums very soon!
Details Written on Friday May 12th, 2006
Writer @DemonDust

Tags: #Zu