Still Got That Hunger
(Cherry Red/The End)
For the uninitiated, The Zombies are one of the most unsung bands of the ‘60s British Invasion. The band’s second album, its masterpiece Odessey and Oracle (1968) was released as it was falling apart and thus, never received the fanfare and recognition it deserved. But, its dark, quasi-baroque sounds have aged well, as new generations continue to discover the little cult album that shoulda been.
After reforming a few years back, the band now unleashes its third album of all-new material. For context, much of The Zombies’ scant repertoire has been split between innovative, melancholy psychedelia and vintage R&B, the latter style being a favorite among young Anglos with cheap guitars and shaggy haircuts during the early ’60s UK scene. Still Got That Hunger follows the patterns with a little more emphasis on the latter.
Opening track “Moving On” has a solid bluesy groove that benefits from the crisp vocal bits of Colin Blunstone, who seems to just get better with age. “Chasing The Past” has that bittersweet, chamber-pop sound that made Odessey such a stunner, including a haunting melodic piano riff, courtesy of main songwriter Rod Argent. “New York” sees Blunstone and Co. reminiscing about their early rock ‘n’ roll roots in anthemic style, while “Maybe Tomorrow” has a Beatlesque twist that harkens back to the band’s psych-pop heyday.
While The Zombies will probably never top their Odessey and Oracle efforts, Still Got That Hunger is a valiant effort for a band whose legacy stretches back some 50 years. And even if it’s a slight more skewed towards the less-appealing, R&B side of The Zombies canon, it’s still got enough juice to sound relevant today. (Jim Kaz)