In addition to fantastic music, the Zulu Pearls offer some international spy intrigue. Double booked in the annals of Internet research as both a Berlin, Deutschland band and as Arlington, VA jammers, the band last logged into their Myspace account on August 18, 2011 – though it seems apparent from their breadth of hits on Google that they haven’t been slacking in the time since. A fistful of EPs and widespread concert coverage indicate that this export/import has long distance legs and an audience ready for to watch them run many a mile. Zulu Pearls strike a new-listener a bit like a “man-have-you-heard-these-guys?” experience, and might provide the opportunity to wow that friend who is usually the one to introduce you to a sweet new band.
Their debut LP, “No Heroes No Honeymoons,” (released in September 2012) brings together some interesting elements that don’t necessarily defy the sense of what all can go into rock music, but maybe as a whole, on one album, defies what might go all together at once. In some ways Zulu Pearls’ sound might be associated with the LA phenom Dawes, or expansively linked to alt-alt rock of the likes of My Morning Jacket, but this should be treated as a bridge “to” what’s going on in their first album, not a bridge “over” it.
No Heroes No Honeymoons opens with a wavy number that makes this reviewer want to coin the genre name “alt-surfer.” Reverb guitar, with a little drive for good measure, pushes through with splashy drums and a blues-singer inspired delivery of vocals that has all the sense of wanting to live up to the opening track’s title, “Keep It Cool.” The follow-up is consistent in the next several tracks – with a mix of poppy and grinding qualities in instrumentation – as well as some dreamy melody lines and lyrics in songs sometimes playfully named, e.g. track 4 “Two Thousand Whatever.”
In the album’s midsection some heavier duty rock tones lay over the mellowness, aided – both in terms of the rockiness and the mellowness – by electric organ and heavy pedaling on the electric strings. In some places the instrumentation gets frantic enough that it is possible to lose the source of the beat, but, as soon as you listen for it again, the essential drum line is immediately present to the conscious and seems almost to have disappeared by way of perfect synching with the melody and harmony riding on top. In the rounding out of the ten tracks, the final three take us not merely on a roller coaster ride, but, for the Kennywood enthusiast, on three different styles of roller coasters: seemingly respectively inspired by Stones, Cars, and Bright Eyes.
Cantora Records, the big tag on this debut feature album, is perhaps best known for pumping MGMT. So from a music biz perspective Zulu Pearls are probably one to watch for some solid music fest presence in the summer of 2013. Far more importantly, No Heroes No Honeymoons sounds a lot like a little bit of the real thing.
No Heroes No Honeymoons by Zulu Pearls is available, most likely more ubiquitously by the minute, find it before your know-it-all music friends!