Zombi - Liquid Crystals [Relapse - 2021]
Pennsylvania's dynamic duo, Zombi, are back with another EP on Relapse - Liquid Crystals. Continuing their evolution, Moore and Paterra further explore moods, textures, and the borders of cinematic, synth-laden rock. Never a disappointment, Liquid Crystals is another wonderful addition to a rock-solid discography.
Short and to the point, Liquid Crystals packs enough material into five songs to give listeners a good handle of where Zombi is on their upward (and outward) trajectory. Opening with the sinister "Mangler," the duo gives a definite nod to their roots, but add in enough extra instrumentation to keep their forward progression. Subtle drumming moves with the arpeggiated synths and keeps this one propelling onward. Taking one step beyond, "Chant" adds more mystique to the mix with its plodding, hard rock base (and bass) and symphonic elements. Building to a crescendo before the synths get their day, The title track is at the center of the EP and revels in its precise and deliberate timing. With the bass stepping forward to team up with the soulful and strong guitar lines, "LIquid Crystals" grows at the perfect speed to hit its crescendo. "Turning Points" feels like "The Immigrant Song" on Valium, but uses its strength to keep the second half boosted and meaningful. Liquid Crystals concludes with "Black Forest," and puts all of the pieces from before it together in one groove-filled song. Ending on a high note, Liquid Crystals fits in with the progression of the EP and lets Zombi do its thing.
Another step in a forward direction, Liquid Crystals from Zombi is a welcome addition. Very restrained, the EP showcases the duo firing on all cylinders and creating thought out, well-executed rock. With the synths tucked neatly into the mix, Zombi has come a long way from their roots and will continue to grow with each release.Paul Casey