The Zutons - Who Killed The Zutons?

Best known as frontman with The Lightning Sees, Ian Brodie is also a highly respected producer and has worked with the Icicle Works and more recently The Coral. He's the perfect candidate to produce The Zutons debut album "Who Killed The Zutons" with his gift at working so well with musicians and his experience at getting the best out of his chosen subjects. Ian's got his work cut out for him transferring the urgency, excitement and unpredictable nature of the Zutons live gigs to the recording studio, but he's managed this feat magnificently.

The Zutons anthem "Zuton Fever" is a blistering hybrid of conflicting styles and diverse influences. A great 50s rockabilly guitar riff takes us on a retro journey to rock n roll blues heaven. Abi's sax solo perfectly compliments David McCabe's gravely, throaty soul sensation vocal. This really captures the live feeling The Zutons excel in and it's not overproduced. The instrumental interlude is suitably off kilter and woozy, a stoner, wasted feeling of good night out without any clear memory of what actually happened. "Confusion" has a bombastic bass intro from Russell Pritchard. This is a come down song when the chemically enhanced antics of the previous night begin to wear off. Lyrically this is a dark tale of desperation and despair as the lyric "It's working through the flesh that remains" confirms. The melancholic edge is sweetened by McCabe's forthright vocal.

Although simple in it's structure, this is a more sensitive and less obvious side to the Zutons with it's reflections on life. "Railroad" showcases their versatile guitarist Boyan Chowdhury on this tale which takes it's inspiration from the past. The harmonies are cosmic and Sean Payne works his magic on the percussion. Rock n Roll in all it's sweat, dirty and down right filthy way returns on "Dirty Dancehall", a neat ballsy soul and r'n'b romper stomper of a tune. A seemingly true story of violence and impending dread on the dancefloor. The refrain of "this is just a night in the city of culture" rings through with it's sinister overtones. These are dirty beats from the streets with lots of wailing and screaming.

"Who Killed The Zutons?" is good, honest, scallydelic music from a band who look to the past for their influences, but with a contemporary sound which has these colourful Liverpuddlian characters kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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