Released: 2004, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Take equal parts Motorhead, Nashville Pussy and add a dash of The Ramones and what you get is Seattle's own Zeke. Vocalist Blind Marky Felchtone sounds like the long-lost son of Lemmy himself and his guitar solos and riffs scream of those made famous by Fast Eddie Clarke during the OVERKILL/BOMBER era. Most of the tracks on ‘TIL THE LIVIN’ END top out at two and a half minutes but in that time, Zeke absolutely tears your face off. I didn’t expect much from this CD, to be perfectly honest, but it really blew me away on the first listen and has continued to do so.
“All Night Long” is fast, furious and ugly with dirty riffs and a hyper-speed delivery. “Hold Tight” and “Little Queen” sound like they fell off Motorhead’s OVERKILL album somewhere between “No Class” and “Damage Case.” Just before the 2:00 mark of “383,” the riff sounds eerily close to “Moby Dick” by Led Zeppelin! Further homage is paid on “Dragonfly” where Felchtone’s delivery and the tempo of the verses sounds EXACTLY like Motorhead’s “Metropolis.” “Ride To Live” is a cool doomy track that reeks of Black Sabbath influence. The fuzzed bass and riffing is topped only by an absolutely smoking solo by Felchtone. The album closer, “Ever Onward,” is a slower stoner cut that would not be out a place on a Clutch album. Felchtone again delivers an impressive solo and leaves the listener gasping for breath after this half hour attack on the senses.
‘TIL THE LIVIN’ END is that diamond in the rough for 2004 that caught me by surprise and reassured me that bands can still rock. Sure there is the current hype of The Hives, White Stripes, etc. that Spin and Rolling Stone spout off as the saviors of rock & roll music but those bands are too “polished” and gimmicky. Zeke is that scruffy band you’d see in a dive club on skid row who plays what they want and kick the ass of anyone that gets in their way (literally!). There is not a bad song on this album and I have been spinning it almost non-stop for the past three months. I missed these guys back on October 29th in Vancouver and I’ve been kicking myself ever since. If the early days of Motorhead and the new attitude of Nashville Pussy is your bag, check out the raw, dirty and uncompromising genius of Zeke.
KILLER KUTS: All, but especially “All Night Long,” “On Through The Night,” “Hold Tight,” “Little Queen,” “Dragonfly,” “Ride To Live”