Zs - Xe

There are so many different combinations of sounds and tones, we can scientifically never run out of music. That doesn't stop people from doing crazy shit, though. Zs testifies anything you might call music and create distorted soundscapes full of sporadic jazz saxophones, static and distorted guitars, and some drilling drum beats. The new incarnation of Zs features a powerful trio of masterminds who can literally create music out of the sound very foundations of life and homeostasis.

Xe is all about making music unexpected and untraditional. While some of the longer tracks ('Corps' and 'Xe') don't sustain the climactic energy over an extended period of time (not saying that they don't have their moments), each track has a certain element of "weird" and originality that shines through as each track seamlessly segues into the next. 'Wolf Government' is literally composed of the sounds of cells splitting (meiosis, bitches!) and electrons orbiting nuclei. Science stuff out of the way - they make small things sound huge. 'Corps' exhibits the mastery of Sam Hillmer's jazz stylings on the tenor saxophone, bringing infrequent and panic-y saxophone lines throughout the track. 'Xe', while uneventful as a whole, builds up as over 18-minutes with occasional explosions of energy until one huge climax at the end to conclude a fascinating album. The drum lines are often very captivating and thought-provoking, being very complex in their execution. All in all, the instrumentals of this album shows a clear mastery of the instruments being performed.

Xe is a testament to the weird. Music can exist in all forms, whether or not it makes sense or not. Perhaps that's what makes this album so intriguing - it makes little sense, akin to the experimental and jazzy tones of Talk Talk's Laughing Stock or Bark Psychosis' Hex. Weird is a hard element to master, but Zs has had no problem doing so.

Favorite Tracks: The Future Of Royalty, Corps, Weakling

Least Favorite Tracks: Beginning of 'Xe'

Overall Rating: 9/10