Tuesday 26 March 2013

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel - Hearts & Arms

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel preach their word from New Jersey, and they do so by way of lo-fi and experimental alt-pop tunes. Debut EP 'Hearts & Arms' was first released last summer and word has finally spread across the ocean to our ears. Beginning with 'Prelude' (which is just that) it's difficult to know what to expect. So it's second track 'Lie' that gives us the first indication of where these guys are coming from, and it's not beyond the grave. Usual indie/pop references apply, focusing on the 60s in particular; The Beach Boys and The Beatles are clear inspirations, but this is no aping, the songs here feel modern, they're just inspired by the past.

There are some very good indie/pop tracks here too. 'And Now' is a slight departure, the muffled vocals and the coat of fuzz making you think of more modern references, but they soon return to the past and always have pop at the centre of things. The jangly guitar of 'Kiss The Sun' isn't a million miles away from The Strokes, but the vocals make it ring that bit clearer. They visit that classic chord progression of C, A-minor, F, G for the doo-wop sounding 'Junkie Song'. It's about the billionth song to use that sequence but it still sounds stunning here, particularly in contrast to the murky lyrical content and is probably the best track of the lot. After that, 'Wishing Well (A Fool's Waltz)' makes for a fitting ending for a fine EP.

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel's website

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