Oh you funny guys! I’m rolling around on the floor clutching my belly because, with shades of those merry all-boro pranksters Dog Eat Dog, clever Bostonians Hey Zeus have named their new album X! Those of you in the know, like me, will doubtless also be savouring the humour because you too know that LA Punk icons X released a final album in 1993 called – wait for it… Hey Zeus!
But enough of the fun and games – is the music any good? Well, mercifully it doesn’t sound like X, if that’s what you’re asking. Rather, in 2019 Hey Zeus are branded stoner doom, though the Kiss-quoting opening chords of album opener These Eyes might have something to say about that…
Rather, HZ peddle a pleasant if ultimately non-superlative brand of guitar-driven rock and roll that often looks back to the seventies for inspiration, without really caring what sort of noise it is they make. Like I say, the opener likes Kiss, a lot, but elsewhere the band offer their take on garage punk with equal success in the shape of the raging riff monsters like I Don’t Want It and Caveman. The strutting stadium rock of Save Your also has bags of appeal, coming on not a little like Brit rockers Gentlemans Pistols with it’s cranked up and greasy classic metal dynamic.
X Marks The Spot has a nice Northern European feel to it, all snakeskin rifferama and goofy gang vocals, and it’s a hoot to listen to, as is the band’s punishing take on the old Deep Purple chestnut Bloodsucker, which is delivered straight-up and storming.
At the end of the day, there is gratifyingly little in the way of side to Hey Zeus. They deliver the goods time and again on X, and that should really be enough for anyone who likes their rocking frill-free and very, very loud.
X will be released through Argonauta Records on February 1st.