Zevious: Passing Through The Wall

Fripp fans – take note of this uncompromising, brilliant US trio.

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In late 1977 Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Michael Walden spent a few hours in a New York studio. They laid down the free-flowing hybrid of jazzy dexterity with a metal vocabulary that would focus Fripp’s solo debut Exposure, and it is precisely that volatile power that this US outfit have embraced and made their own.

Zevious consist of Mike and Jeff Eber (guitar and drums respectively) and Johnny DeBlase (bass). Crimson-esque DNA is hardwired into this riotous and angular recording, and echoes of bristling, Opeth-like chordage hang in the air. A jagged buzz-saw symmetry defines their overall sound. With that and their bludgeoning repetition, the music is remorseless.

There are only two moments on the disc where the momentum subsides and a bruised, neurotic calm peeps out. Melodies are brusque, often little more than hastily drawn lines cross-hatched with feedback and distortion, emerging out from under thunderous, fractious chunks to grasp tenaciously onto the back of delirious, thrashing beats.

Growling bass lines, explosive guitar squalls and percussive eruptions combine to create a turbulent and terrifically exciting set of stark intensity. Heartily recommended.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.