Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jupiter Zeus-On Earth

Magnetic Eye Records

First known as Nebula (under which they released one 1994 demo, "Born Deformed", and the full-length, 1995 album, "Sadness Vs Madness") and originally wowing audiences with their own take on groove-infused death metal before transferring their collective consciousness (guitarist/vocalists Simon Staltari, bass guitarist Jeremy Graham, guitarist Michael Lawson and drummer Aidrian Vudrug) into the art-form that stands before us now, Perth, Western Australia-based Jupiter Zeus are something refreshingly different and yet oddly familiar. Short and sweet this is prime and proper (hypnotic) psychedelic rock. Only here we find a album like "On Earth" awash with heavy grooves (no doubt the one carry-over aspect from Nebula), flashes of melodic sensibility ("Cosmic Rays", "Waiting In Line"), some space rock weirdness (ala Hawkwind), splinters of garage rock and mighty mighty riffs that (on occasion mind you) bear resemblance to something that you'd expect to find from your local (college-age no doubt) stoner rock (hipster) collective and not a potential (radio rock) hit-making crew like this. And that's the real clincher here. As HEAVY as this band is on the rock front (listen to opener "Waves" and then simply follow the flame to "Over" and go from there!) and (even more so with) the psychedelic/groove tendencies there's more then meets the eye with this bunch seeing as Jupiter Zeus are strong contenders on the "pop" side of things. Sure, it's more akin to the craftiness of college rock/alternative rock of old ("Talkback Caller", "Waiting In Line"), but the fact remains that this four-piece (punctuated by the hypnotic performance of Simon Staltari) know how to write music that is catchy and sticks with you for a long time afterwards! No fears though as "On Earth" is still a sick enough slab of stone-cold riffs (see "Psychotic Seeds") so as to offer more then enough material to appeal to followers of all things stoner rock! That's especially true as the HEAVY groove-lines offer a nice little one-two to your eardrums (dig the fat riffs of "Co-Creators"!). Now, as to how this Western Australia bunch has managed to elude stardom so far remains any one's guess? The band's previous release (the well-received EP "Green Mosquito") did set the stage, but now it's time for Jupiter Zeus to actually take to the stage and just let it rip. But they can't do it alone. People need to perk up and listen as well! "On Earth" offers itself as a (sublime) alternative to the daily grind that is (repetitive) rock and/or metal so all you need to do is reach out and take hold of the flame. Easy enough right? 

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