After a lengthy absence, London rockers Zico Chain are back with a full length album, the first since 2007’s Food. Although there was a stop-gap EP in 2010, ’The Devil In Your Heart’ marks their return to the scene proper, and to mainstream attention as well. The trademark sleazy rock sound returns and the band take up the baton of rock ‘n’ roll excess in some style.
From the off, ’The Devil In Your Heart’ attempts to wow with sheer rock bravado as opener Evasion gallops along energetically. Wailing hard-rock guitar solos that would impress Slash are complimented by classic rock vocals in the vein of Eddie Vedder. The Pearl Jam comparisons do not end there as ’Black Turns White’ has a riff that wouldn’t be out of place in a Pearl Jam song and is a highlight of the album. The songs do verge on Nickelback levels of rock ‘n’ roll cliché at times in tracks like ’New Romantic’ but Zico Chain retain a level of credibility and deliver a fun, likeable sound.
In addition to rock ‘n’ roll excess, there are more contemplative moments on the album. ’Mercury Gift’, an impressive hard rock ballad,adopts a slower tempo. In this moment, Zico Chain adopt an epic, melodic sound that brings to mind Iron Maiden.
Although there are slower moments on the album, it is predominantly a rough and ready rock record. Our Evil sees the band at their most urgent and frenetic, with heavy rock guitars permeating a strong and memorable chorus. At their best, Zico Chain resemble Guns ‘N’ Roses or Pearl Jam in their heyday, with a sound that crosses the boundaries between more flamboyant 80’s rock and the grunge sound of 1990’s rock.
For the most part, this is a solid if formulaic hard-rock record that has a couple of stand-out moments. It is a record of high energy; it features exciting guitar solos and a true rock ‘n’ roll spirit which must be applauded. An earnest offering, with no gimmickry.
‘The Devin In Your Heart’ by Zico Chain is available now on Suburban Records.
Words by Tom White