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Zip Tang | Pank

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Led Zeppelin Porcupine Tree Van der Graaf Generator

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United States - Illinois

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Jam-band Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Zip Tang

The sound quality and production is first rate, the cover artwork is excellent and, most importantly, the music maintains the high quality eclectic mix of modern prog explored on the debut. Mark Hughes - Dutch Progressive Rock Page
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Footprints
4:22 $0.99
2. It's in My Head
8:25 $0.99
3. Katy
8:19 $0.99
4. Leaving Nothing
4:45 $0.99
5. Cicada Jam
3:27 $0.99
6. One Last Beautiful Motion
7:14 $0.99
7. Pank
3:48 $0.99
8. Deitrich Crashed My Enzo
7:23 $0.99
9. The Years
4:50 $0.99
10. You Call This Art
4:41 $0.99
11. Goodbye
6:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Following on the heels of their debut CD, "LUMINIFEROUS ETHER," Chicago-based independent recording group, Zip Tang, has announced details of its second CD, enigmatically titled, "PANK."

"PANK" takes the prog quartet deeper into the dark woods of musical exploration but retains an underlying sense of humor. In fact, "You Call This Art," begins and ends with rhythmic laughter, suggesting that we're all in on the joke. But ZT's new music is anything but a joke.

Their extraordinary musicianship has taken another step up with “PANK.” The group uncovers a new sense of maturity and cohesion that permeates songs like the mystical, "It's In My Head" and the soul searching "The Years." Yet, in other songs on the release like "Deitrich Crashed My Enzo" and "Katy" exposes the band's fun and mischievous side. But it is the laconic sense of loss and longing in "Leaving Nothing" and the percussive opener, "Footprints” that leaves the listener lingering in the song long after the last note.

What about the title song "Pank?" The instrumental title track showcases ZT's raucous and lively side much like "Beta" did on their first CD. "Pank" encompasses odd time changes, rigorous counterpoint and a devilish descent into madness culminating in a larger-than-life rock and roll finale that ends in German. Fünf!

The closing song, "Goodbye" reveals many of ZT's earliest influences including Led Zeppelin, Santana and the Beatles. By paying homage to these "musical echoes" the band is actually weaving familiar sounds into a rich musical tapestry for the future.

ZT leaves plenty of room for solos in its music. Perry Merritt (guitar) can tear your heart out (The Years) or dazzle your mind (Pank, Cicada Jam) using an amazing array of inventive sounds and heartbreaking soul. Marcus Padgett (keys/sax) uses his saxophone to create wild nightmarish effects (Katy) or beautifully haunting sweetness (One Last Beautiful Motion). Merritt and Padgett often trade solos back and forth revealing deeper and broader musical layers that take the listener to far off and magical places.

The rhythm section of Richard Wolfe (bass) and Fred Faller (drums) are locked even tighter than they were on "LUMINIFEROIUS ETHER" if that was possible. Wolfe gets inventive with right-hand tapping and harmonics that rumble your floorboards (Leaving Nothing). Faller starts“PANK” with a pulsing rhythmic melody (Footprints), moves to a driving pulse (the spontaneous Cicada Jam) and deftly masters a sensitive, understated groove (One Last Beautiful Motion).

"PANK" was recorded at the same location as their first CD, (now ZiTi Studio) with Merritt mixing and mastering.

It would be remiss to neglect the CD's artwork. The haunting elfish, mushroom-land, otherworldliness of "PANK's" imagery is absolutely captivating. The artist, Jess Rossi a young freelancer from Toronto, and has generously offered to share her artwork with Zip Tang.

For more information about Zip Tang, visit the band's official website, www.ziptang.net, or, www.myspace.com/ziptangrock.

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 'True' Progressive Music, October 17, 2009
By Kev Rowland (New Zealand)

Pank is Zip Tang's second album, released in 2008 (so hopefully that should mean that there will be another one soon!). As with the debut, again we have a digipak with great artwork, and the same four guys kicking hard into music in a style that is definitely their own. Yes it is possible to bring in comparisons (this time possibly some elements of Mr So & So?), but this is a world of their own creation where jazz, prog rock, hard rock and art rock collide. "It's In My Head" has moments of incredible intensity that is offset by far quieter passages, so that the listener is drawn in - not wanting to miss anything. I find it incredible that the band have yet to be signed to a fairly major label as there is no doubting their skills or abilities - what they need is to somehow get their name in front of more people because I can guarantee that if you are a proghead in the truest sense of the word, not someone who wants rehashed neo-prog time and again or prog metal then you need to hear music that while very much of the current time also has its' feet truly set in the ideals of the golden age.

Rick Wolfe, Perry Merritt, Fred Faller and Marcus Padgett have a lot to answer for. The main case against them is that they have released some of the most inspiring and true progressive music that one is likely to come across. All that you have to do now is go out and discover it. Wonderful stuff.

Progressive Rock Brazil
"Highly Recommended"

Under the name of "RPM", the band started out playing covers of "Steely Dan", "Santana", "The Allman Brothers", "Jeff Beck", and "Yes" - influences that are still present in their work. They changed the name for Zip Tang and released a debut album “Luminiferous Ether” (2007), which received excellent reviews from the specialized press (see under Reviews 2007). The second album - “Pank” (2008) - was nominated for the “Just Plain Folks 2009 Awards” (to happen in 29th August) in the categories of “Best Prog Rock Album” and “Best Prog Songs” (with “Footprints” and “Katy”). A righteous nomination, indeed, for “Pank” rises above the level of excellence. It represents a step farther in the evolution of this talented quartet that must be reckoned for their high-quality musicianship.

Although this album seems more “jammed” than the first work, the band is by no means retreating, but refining their style and originality. The ever-changing rhythmic base is supported by drums that go from ethnical beats to Jazz and Experimental, and bass lines that may do strange mixtures of Heavy Metal, Jazz, Rock and Latino – remembering bands like "Frank Zappa", "King Crimson", "Traffic", "Steely Dan", "Yes", "Santana', "Return To Forever" and even "Primus". Guitars go from Jazz-Rock to Blues, including some heavier riffs, adding influences of "Cream", "Jeff Beck", "Allman Brothers", and "John Lee Hooker". Unusual passages of sax lead to inevitable comparisons with "Van der Graaf Generator", but genuine jazzy moods are also present in sophisticated passages, remembering the work of "Miles Davis" and even "Burt Bacharach". Different textures of keyboards cover the songs with a progressive air. Vocals by Marcus are mainly ironic, in the manner of "Zappa", or melancholic like "Pink Floyd".

“Pank” brings 11 tracks. The sound of inverted guitars and ethnical beats in the introduction of the opening track - “Footprints” - is a sign that Zip Tang is still warming up and great things are yet to come. In fact, many Pink Floydian melancholic vocals, psychedelic instrumental sections, and jazzy saxophones will be heard on tracks like “It’s in my Head“ and “One Last Beautiful Motion“ - the later brings a fantastic guitar solo – hovering, nostalgic and beautiful. One of the nominated songs - “Katy“ - is one of the best tracks. It is built over a heavy and tense bass line, ending on long passages of jazz and blues. The creative talent of "Robert Fripp" and the musical irreverence of "Frank Zappa" are ever present, celebrated on tracks like “Leaving Nothing“ and “Cicada Jam“ – both stuffed with experimental sounds and percussion, bringing that mysterious feeling of entering an exotic jungle. Zappa‘s irreverence is still present on the craziness of “Deitrich Crashed my Enzo“ and “You Call This Art?“, the later is trespassed by Hard Rock riffs and Blues solos – influence of "Jeff Back". Differing a bit from the rest of the album, “The Years“ is a kind of ballad that joins the acoustic guitars of "Allman Brothers" with the sax of "Van der Graaf". The remaining songs, “Pank“ and “Goodbye“, bring back the seventies in that jazzy-funky-Latin fashion of "Steely Dan", "Santana", and "Return to Forever", featuring many improvisations of bass, guitars, drums and sax. Particularly on “Goodbye”, the closing sax solo sounds like a farewell melody.

But please, Zip Tangers, don’t say goodbye – come back with a third! Zip Tang is highly recommended for lovers of Rock of the 70’s and fans of modern Progressive bands like "Flower Kings", "Neal Morse", "Spock’s Beard", "Black Bonzo", "Tiles" and so on… Band members of Zip Tang are: Fred Faller – Drums, Perry Merritt – Guitars, Vocals (tracks 9 and 10), Marcus Padgett – Saxophones, Keyboards, Synths, Vocals (tracks 1,2,3,4,6,8,11), Rick Wolf – Bass, Backing Vocals...
(Comments by Marcelo Trotta)

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