The Zilla Project: This One's For The President

Cypriot quartet do the Mediterranean proud.

TODO alt text

When The Zilla Project’s label describe them as “unquestionably the best blues/rock band in Cyprus”, you’re bound to wonder how much competition there is.

But if their compatriots sound half as good as this four-piece do on their debut album, it might be worth paying a visit. You might have pegged them straight off as bourbon-soaked southern boogie merchants from the riff’n’rasp stomp of their take on Son House’s Death Letter. Emmanuel ‘Big Mo’ Vourakis’ booming voice easily stakes its claim on the song, while his electric slide is imbued with a snarling urgency, and on high-octane rockers like Mr Tumblin’, there are strong whiffs of vintage ZZ Top. But there’s much more in their locker, and that’s showcased when Nicolas ‘Honeyman’ Melis’ languid Hammond organ helps lend Hear Me Crying a Muscle Shoals-style R&B feel, before Grace builds into a Led Zeppelinesque epic, weaving folk, jazz and progressive elements into a hard-rocking whole.