Review & Full Album Stream: Zippo, Ode to Maximum Reissue

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

zippo ode to maximum

[Click play above to listen to Zippo’s Ode to Maximum in its entirety. The full remaster with bonus tracks is out Nov. 2 on Spikerot Records.]

We live in an age where albums come out twice all the time. A band records on their own and does a self-release, digital or sometimes physical, and then later on at some point that record is picked up by a label for wider distribution and/or a physical pressing. The difference with Zippo‘s Ode to Maximum is that it’s happening 12 years later. Probably fair, then to call the Spikerot Records vinyl version of the then-five-piece Italian outfit’s debut full-length a reissue, what with the Tony Reed remaster, new cover art, bonus tracks and all, but its core desert rocking approach and forays into psychedelia on “Night Jam” and “Crazy Forest” lend a sonic reach to the grounded material surrounding.

The band is currently a four-piece with Alessandro Sergente on guitar, but in 2006, Sergente was joined by fellow guitarist Silvio Spina and bassist Tonino Bosco (Paolo Garofalo handles bass now), as well as vocalist Davide Straccione and drummer Federico Sergente, both of whom remain with Zippo now. Based in Pescara on the Adriatic Coast, they’ve done three albums since Ode to Maximum in the form of 2009’s The Road to Knowledge (discussed here), 2011’s Maktub and 2016’s After Us (discussed here), and each time branched out someplace new from where they started with the original 10 tracks of Ode to Maximum, which from the Lowrider-style wah of “Forgotten Season” to the suitably named thick-toned stomper “The Elephant March” and the careening “Tukay’s Fury” that precedes, basks in the glory days of the heavy rock movement that started a decade before it was made.

It was the MySpace era, but Zippo concerned themselves more with the doings of Kyuss and certainly offshoot project Slo Burn, whose “July” is covered as one of the bonus tracks here, recorded in 2014, in the early and mid ’90s. With a raw-ish production and a mix that puts the bass as the foundation of songs like “Kid in the Desert,” however otherwise led by the riffs they may be, Zippo tapped early into what have since become some of the most enduring aspects of the original Californian desert rock movement — and we’ll throw some Sweden in there for Lowrider, too — while putting their own inevitable stamp on the approach with a sense of rhythmic quirk, gutted-out vocals and diverse songwriting.

Beginning with the intro “Alpha” and ending with the complementary “Omega,” Ode to Maximum unfurls a self-aware sonic blend of chunky-style riffing on “Tsunami Dust” with the fervent rumble establishing itself beneath the two guitars and Straccione‘s vocals. A departure into a playfully-malevolent break brings some element of Faith No More to the proceedings, but as “Tsunami Dust” moves into highlight cut “S.N.A.P.R.S.T.,” the jazzy interlude and aggro finish in the latter already has some context hinting toward its arrival. Clearly Zippo were never just about mimicry of the Californian scene, and the rest of Ode to Maximum bears that out.

zippo (Photo by Marco Rocconi)

Originally a 45-minute outing — the bonus tracks push that to 55 on the remaster — Ode to Maximum has a linear fluidity that speaks to the time of its release, when CD was still the dominant physical media, if in decline with the increasing reach of the digital sphere. The handclaps in “Forgotten Season,” either natural or keyboard — something about them is awfully consistent sounding — vocal layering and manic lead guitar are nonetheless standout factors emblematic of the manner in which songs are distinguished throughout. In addition to the new CD release, though, Spikerot has a 2LP version of the album, and one imagines the same distinguishing factors help establish a breadth as Zippo move from one song and one side to the next.

I won’t claim to know where the sides split, but “Night Jam” is a serene departure from “Forgotten Season,” and “Kid in the Desert” renews the quirked-up post-Kyuss thrust ahead of “Crazy Forest,” which is the longest cut on the album at eight minutes, and if that’s side B, then it’s a solid one. “Crazy Forest” taps into progressive nuance to go along with its standout nodder fuzz riff — something of a foreshadow for the seven-minute “The Elephant March” still to come — and ends with an almost hypnotic rhythm before a last-second shove leads the way into “Tukay’s Fury.”

As it’s sandwiched between the two longest tracks, it would make sense that it’s the shortest (non-intro/outro) piece at 3:22, with starts and stops in the verses shifting into a high-gear hook with a high-energy delivery the whole way through until finally the thing seems to crash to its finish and directly into the start of “The Elephant March,” which is obviously intended as the apex of the record. And so it is. Big riffs get bigger as it courses through its second half, finishing at about six minutes in so the last minute can be consumed by a swell of insect noise, either flies or bees. Kind of a curious choice with “Omega” still to follow and lead the way out of the album as a whole, but it was 2006. Times were crazy. “Omega” fluidly answers “Alpha” with a minute or so of riffing and some sustained ringout that fades to a finish, leaving just “Night Jam #2” — heavier, proggier, more plotted — and the aforementioned Slo Burn redux to cap.

Though recorded later, “July” is a pretty fitting conclusion for Ode to Maximum, and the treatment they give it — again, the bass — does right by the original while allowing Zippo to make their mark on it as well. The album preceding functions in much the same way, portraying a band working their way toward an understanding of who they are as a group and what they want to bring to the tenets of their chosen genre. They’ve gone on to answer that question with subsequent albums, so in a way it’s like cheating to listen to Ode to Maximum and know the future, but a debut release is a special moment for a band that doesn’t come again, and this look back gives Zippo a chance to emphasize how far they’ve come since as well as the clarity of mission with which they started out.

Zippo, “Tsunami Dust” official video

Zippo on Thee Facebooks

Zippo on Instagram

Zippo on YouTube

Spikerot Records on Thee Facebooks

Spikerot Records on Instagram

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Zippo to Reissue Ode to Maximum Nov. 2 with Bonus Tracks

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

zippo (Photo by Marco Rocconi)

Zippo‘s debut album, Ode to Maximum, originally came out 12 years ago as a self-release. Time for a reissue? Yeah, definitely. The Italian heavy rockers will put Ode to Maximum back out on Nov. 2 via Spikerot Records as their first release through the imprint as their 2016 long-player, After Us (discussed here), was on Apocalyptic Witchcraft. The first record has been given new art — see it below, also in your most colorful nightmares — and a remaster by none other than Tony Reed of Mos Generator. It will also feature two bonus cuts, one of which is a cover of Slo Burn‘s “July,” which, if it’s not already stuck in your head just by reading the title, I humbly submit you’ve probably never heard the song. I’m gonna be walking around the rest of the day going “Joo-li-hi.” There are worse fates.

The PR wire brings details and a link for preorders. Have at it:

zippo ode to maximum

ZIPPO – Ode to Maximum / Reissue 2018

Since 2004 Zippo have led the pack of the Italian Stoner Rock and Heavy Psych movement. Zippo have always been about the music, which is actually very hard to define as they include elements of Prog Rock, Psych, Stoner, Sludge, Doom, Noise and even Post-Metal.

Zippo thrive on creating different sounds and challenging people to use their very heart and soul to fully experience the band’s musical vision. A winning philosophy has seen Zippo release four critically acclaimed albums: Ode To Maximum (Self-released, 2006), The Road To Knowledge (Subsound Records, 2009), Maktub (Subsound Records, 2011) and After Us (Apocalyptic Witchcraft, 2016). Spikerot Records will take care of the re-issue of the band’s classic Ode To Maximum both on CD and Vinyl, giving it a new life after many years gone sold-out, with a completely new artwork by Davide Mancini (Dartworks.com) and tracks remastered by Tony Dallas Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe), including two bonus tracks.

There is one thing you can say about Zippo’s albums – They all sound different to each other. Zippo always push the boundaries of what is musically possible, which has seen them classed as one of Italy’s finest Heavy Rock bands currently out there. Zippo have played Live all over Europe to rapturous applause from fans and critics alike, being described as one of the coolest, loudest and dangerous bands you are ever likely to witness live.

release date: 02/11/2018
label: SPIKEROT RECORDS
catalog number: SPK004
FORMAT: CD DIGIPAK / 2xLP / DIGITAL

Preorders: https://www.spikerot.com/ricerca?controller=search&order=product.position.desc&s=maximum

TRACKLIST
1. Alpha
2. Tsunami Dust
3. S.N.A.P.R.S.T.
4. Forgotten Season
5. Night Jam
6. Kid In The Desert
7. Crazy Forest
8. Tukay’s Fury
9. The Elephant March
10. Omega
BONUS TRACKS:
11. Night Jam #2
12. July (Slo Burn Cover)

CURRENT LINE UP
Davide Straccione – Vocals
Alessandro Sergente – Guitars
Paolo Garofalo – Bass
Federico Sergente – Drums

ODE TO MAXIMUM LINEUP
Davide Straccione – Vocals
Alessandro Sergente – Guitars
Silvio Spina – Guitars
Tonino Bosco – Bass
Federico Sergente – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/zippomusic
https://www.instagram.com/zippomusicofficial
https://www.youtube.com/user/ZippoMusicOfficial
https://www.facebook.com/spikerotrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/spikerotrecords/

Zippo, Ode to Maximum (2006)

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Tube Cult Fest 2018 Announces Full Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Let’s say maybe you’re the kind of person who doesn’t just want to sit in the dark all the time by yourself. You like to leave the house, and you do so without the fear of the judgment of others or worry about pianos falling from the sky and so on. You like to be in the company of those who share your interests, and perhaps to partake of the occasional adult beverage while enjoying a wide variety of loud, heavy and high-energy musical performances. Well. You are in luck. Because it just so happens there are these things called music festivals that happen pretty much every weekend between now and forever,, and should you happen to find yourself in Pescara, Italy, on April 27-28, there’s one you might want to check out.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Tube Cult Fest, which, putting aside all joking about agoraphobia — which is a serious condition from which many people suffer — is a significant accomplishment that in itself justifies showing up if you’re in the area. Past years have featured the likes of Ufomammut and 1000mods, and Tube Cult Fest 2018 is no slouch either in the lineup department, with Weedeater, Sannhet, Zatokrev, Freedom Hawk, Minami Deutsch and a significant slew of others to claim your mind, heart and/or soul as their own.

To wit:

tube cult fest 2018 poster

TUBE CULT FEST 2018 • Chapter X

April 27 – April 28

Tube Cult Fest Chapter 10 is revealed.
Here’s the full line-up of the Adriatic’s Loudest Festival.

Get your presales here:
https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-tube-cult-fest-2018-27-28-aprile-pescara-11235534787

Friday, 27th April
Zatokrev (CH)
Freedom Hawk (USA)
Sannhet (USA)
Messa (IT)
High Reeper(USA)
Sum Of R (CH)
Calvario (IT)

Saturday, 28th April
Weedeater (USA)
Minami Deutsch (JP)
Lleroy (IT)
Charun (IT)
MalClango (IT)
The Slave Preacher (USA)
Flynotes (RU)

Scumm & MamiWata
Via delle Caserme, Pescara

Event: TUBE CULT FEST 2018 • Chapter X

For informations send us a private message or write to skeptic.agency@yahoo.it

https://www.facebook.com/TubeCultFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1604355379641309
http://www.tubecultfest.it/
https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-tube-cult-fest-2018-27-28-aprile-pescara-11235534787

Freedom Hawk, Live in Virginia Beach

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Zippo Premiere “Comatose” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 17th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Zippo (Photo by Daniele Di Egidio)

I’m not sure what the story of the video for Zippo‘s track “Comatose” actually has to do with the song itself, but it certainly captures the mood of brash, noise rock aggression. It’s a tale of classic gangster violence — a slice of life and death presented in kind with the Italian band’s rumbling, shout-topped groove. The song comes from Zippo‘s fourth album, After Us, which was released back in March via UK imprint Apocalyptic Witchcraft, and finds the band hitting the decade mark since their debut full-length while also working as a four-piece for the first time. While a Toshi Kasai mix might account for some of the edge one hears in “Comatose,” there’s always been more than one side to Zippo‘s approach, and that holds true for After Us as well.

While “Comatose” bruises like the brawl at the end of its video, “Familiar Roads” — which follows immediately on the album — builds tribal tension into prog-metal harmonies as “Adrift (Yet Alive)” digs into grunge scour and unhinged layers of fuzzgrind, and even a seemingly simple cut like the earlier “After Us” refuses to be defined in its asking the question of what might happen if Mike Patton fronted Alice in Chains. And all of this happens before closer “The Leftovers” waits until about the sixth of its total seven minutes to lock-in After Us‘ cohesive payoff, the prior six minutes of build obviously a tension inflicted on purpose, so while the relatively brief push of “Comatose” is telling on some levels, it’s by no means everything Zippo have to say with the album.

And it’s more gutpunch than handshake, but if you missed the record release in March and the band’s prior video for “Low Song,” as I did, it’s a vicious but enticing introduction. Made me want to dig further, anyhow.

Enjoy the video below, followed by more info from the PR wire:

Zippo, “Comatose” official video

‘Comatose’ is the second video from Zippo’s 4th album ‘After Us’, released in March by the Uk label Apocalyptic Witchcraft. The video is directed by Francesco Brancacci.

Zippo have always been about the music, which is actually very hard to define as they include elements of Prog Rock, Psych, Stoner, Sludge, Doom, Noise and even Post-Metal. Zippo thrive on creating different sounds and challenging people to use their very heart and soul to fully experience the band’s musical vision.

A winning philosophy has seen Zippo release three critically acclaimed albums: Ode To Maximum (Self-produced, 2006), The Road To Knowledge (Subsound Records, 2009), Maktub (Subsound Records, 2011). Album number four was unleashed by Uk based Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings in March 2016.

Zippo on Thee Facebooks

Zippo website

Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings website

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