Zero is an intricate and intriguing piece of musical artistry.
Local three-piece Obscura Hail open proceedings of their new five-song EP with the prophetic sounding observation: “It helps to swear if you’re hurt”. As the initial strokes of gentle guitar make way for a fuller sound, it is clear the band is charged and underway.
Innovation can often alienate, but they seem to traverse this terrain well. Thus, ‘Swear Jar’ packs a punch as drums are struck with a demonic fervour and the song evolves with earnest intent.
‘Goth’, ‘Sex Appeal’ and ‘Psychic Cemetery’ all inspire admiration without being lofty monoliths of creation. The robotic ‘Goth’ nods to the heroes the band obviously hold dear, yet the song transcends nostalgia and is breathy in the manner of The Radio Dept..
‘Sex Appeal’ is a scenario song and adds a flash of startling colour to an essentially dim and bewildered existence. Though you shouldn’t expect a virtuoso performance, Zero doesn’t display any signs of egregious conduct that would dissuade investigating this band.
The whispered introduction to ‘The Thin Man’ hints at an air of malice before the melodies kick in and the whimsical ‘Psychic Cemetery’ rounds out proceedings with a stately collision of gentle acoustic serenading. Laconic.