An Experience Of Trouble

Zea - An experience of trouble

Yeay, coloured vinyl, spiral scratchy, Buzzcocks thrust in to 2003. Zea are two boys from Amsterdam and this is two minutes and twenty seconds of urgent staccato lo-fi home-fi Buzzcock indietronic lappop, energetic to the point excitement … it’s blue by the way, the vinyl, it’s blue … and their album is excellent, the single goes nowhere near telling you the whole story, the album has many more frothy strange psychedelic dimensions to its cut and paste creativity, rather different, rather unique and at times brilliant. Available in the UK via Shellshock.
[ – 24th March 2003]

… Meanwhile their ‘solo’ 7” release ‘Experience of trouble’ showcases even more sides to their personality, with a scuzzy yet sparse Kills-like rocker, some acoustic folk psychedelic, bubbling quickstep rhythms and a tune that merges a medieval march with Dave Clarke 5 beat-pop. Quality all round, save yourself the agony of choice and just buy them all.
[Vanity Project 6 – May 2003]

And staying with Amsterdam’s finest purveyors of schizoid pop, we have this lovingly pressed on dark blue vinyl seven inch featuring again the precocious talents of Zea. This duo have already had us going mental around the Singled Out hut with their annoyingly spectacular album Today I Forgot To Complain. An Experience Of Trouble is simply mental for want of a better description, imagine classic early Buzzcocks suffering a collective aneuryistic meltdown, jagged, awkward and as boppy as hell. Flip the disc for two more exclusive cuts, the quite simply barking mad oddness of Some Of Us Here Are Also There awash with lunatic Hammonds and tripping the boundaries of impish Brit psychedelia, a very wayward lysergic gem. Why Did She Do It? has a vague Elephant 6 quality to it sounding like the West Coast lo-fi dippiness of Of Montreal, bizarre indeed. Essential stuff, as if you needed telling. Mark Barton
[ – May 2003]

The post must be very slow in Holland these days if Zea are any indicator. It sounds like the shops in Amsterdam have just taken delivery of the debut albums from The Ramones, Jonathan Richman and Buzzcocks, and on the strength of them this duo have gone out and bought some guitars and formed a band. (Sigh) It’s just like the old days, and boy do we miss them. “There’s something wrong with me” they claim. Bollocks. There’s nothing at all wrong with acknowledging that you’re not the wave of the future when you can make living in the present and rehashing the sounds of the last thirty years a wholly satisfying experience. Hunt this down; trap it, nurture and cherish it, then kill it when you’re ready. It’s rock ‘n’ roll baby.
Gillian Nash
[ – March 2003]

If you go out and buy some singles this week, you will probably be taking home lots of guitar noise and feedback. Rah. There’s a fair bit of that on our Single Of The Week, but the frenzied lunacy of Zea was what made us hand them the coveted trophy. They’ll probably eat it or something, mind. An Experience Of Trouble rattles along at a frenetic pace with guitars fuzzy and high in the mix, and the accompanying percussion blipping and clanging like one of those toy mechanical drummery things. You know the ones. “There’s something wrong with me”, the singer laments, “a lot of things I do I never thought I’d ever do”. Like take too many mushrooms perhaps.
Zea are two blokes from Amsterdam who mix their music up, with bits of indie, hip-hop, random noise and pop, and on this track especially, they sound like They Might Be Giants after they’ve fallen on their heads.
Superb, and a worthy winner.
[ – Bunch of 45’s 24/03/03-30/03/03]

Op de tweede single die Zea uitbracht, in afwachting van hun nieuw te verschrijnen cd is de invloed van The White Stripes duidelijk te horen. Op deze single opteert de groep (of moet ik intussen zeggen duo) voor een meer gitaargerichte sound. Het geluid van The White Stripes, Guided by Voices en zelfs The Beatles wordt omgevormd tot complexe songs. Toch heb ik vaak de indruk bij Zea dat de ideeën beter zijn dan hun uitwerking. De zang laat vaak te wensen over en ook van de productie ben ik niet altijd even grote fan. Wat overblijft is dus een leuk, charmant en eigenzinnig plaatje maar ik geloof nu niet direct dat ze voor een soort van dEUS effect gaan zorgen bij onze Noorderburen.

Op de eerste moest Zea het vinyl nog delen met Persil, maar deze keer zijn beide kanten voor Arnold de Boer en consorten. Zea lijkt de grenzen van het “popliedje” steeds verder op te zoeken en zo is dit materiaal nauwelijks in een vakje op te bergen. De zeggingskracht lijkt het te winnen van compositorische wetten en de regels van de commercie. Of het veel nieuwe zieltjes zal opleveren is de vraag, maar we raken steeds benieuwder naar het ongetwijfeld avontuurlijke komende album.
[Fret – nr. 4 – scroll helemaal naar beneden – mei 2003]

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