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CD REVIEW: The Zou - The Pinebox EP
By Chris Propfe - 03/23/2008 - 01:56 PM EDT

Artist: The Zou
Album: The Pinebox EP
Genre: Alternative
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Best Songs: The Pinebox, LMNOP
CD Review: Sometimes I really like the idea of an EP. It forces a band to narrow down the creative process to five or six songs. In this case though, I wish I could hear an entire album by The Zou. This recording was definitely just a teaser for me.

Recorded in Ohio and partially in Hoboken, NJ, The Pinebox EP contains many interesting musical nuggets. I love the rap-like, rhythmic verses of The Pinebox, and LMNOP has a Barenaked Ladies influence that’s all ready for the radio. I don’t know if it’s the title or the arrangement, but I also get a Schoolhouse Rock vibe too.

Thank You, Muse is the complete opposite. It includes a ragtime piano and Vaudevillian performance that Camper Van Beethoven would have been proud to play. Whatever happened to that band? Anyway…

Nothing Beats A Hanging is a wonderful title and the music compliments it with a distorted Godzilla riff that quenches my metal pallet. The EP ends with All The Words In The World. Again we hear a little cabaret piano in the background just in case you forgot to listen two songs back. The harmonized vocals in the chorus bring to mind all the great drinking songs that nobody sings anymore, but should.

We should also be on the look out for the next full-length album by The Zou, PLEASE!

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