Zoax – ‘Zoax’

By Lew Trott

Still a band in relative infancy, ZOAX released EPs in 2014 and 2015, as ‘Is Everybody Listening?’ and ‘XIII’ offered fans all sorts of post hardcore infused rock goodness. Now it’s time to up the ante with their debut full length.

Not content with rehashing their well-known alt/punk rock style, the band’s sound has taken fairly large steps towards a more melodic focus. At no time is this departure more apparent than in ‘The Wave’, a hugely mature portrayal of the bands softer side. Beautiful. Niceties ultimately triumph but that doesn’t stop Adam Carroll’s barbarous screams from making their mark.

Moments of frenzy are drastically outweighed by huge melodic breaks and soaring instrumentals. If you’re prone to a mosh or two there’s slim pickings, so take your chance for a cheeky bedroom circle pit whenever you can. At times the absence of Matt Healey is the only factor that separates a track like ‘ZuperHeroez’ from being a fully-fledged The 1975 song.

The first three songs are already destined to be classics. ‘The Bad Blood’ wonderfully sets up the following 11 songs. It’s an exceptional first single. ‘Devil Dance’ is almost unparalleled in terms of catchiness, a rare moment for the album. ‘Roses All The Way’ is yet another instant banger, filled with invention and excitement in abundance.

Cohesively transferring from badass riffs to floaty melodies, listeners are constantly forced to react to alien time signatures. It’s a challenge to guess where the track is heading. Zoax are a hard bunch to pin down, and with this release their ever changing, ambidextrous and experimental style make them that bit more exciting.

LEWIS TROTT

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