Striding through cross-sections of edgy rock, pure pop and trance, Zombie Computer's debut album clearly outlines a desire to make excellent songs that will stand out in the independent Irish music scene and beyond. Its title comes from two Indian Summer tracks, opener (The Seed) and closer (Keep Growing), warm, affable tunes that begin on sublime synth melodies, later reprised with a growling guitar.
Their recent single Get Over You, along with Breakdown and We Are Not Your Friends, are energetic, dominated by guitars and insistently loud vocals but it's Eoghan Reid's keys and melodies that are the secret ingredient which add real finesse to ZC's music and make it something meatier than mere radio-friendly fluff.
Third and hands-down best song Time Keeps Passing is a bad-ass number that gives a real glimpse into the rock edge would see Zombie Computer get good mileage out of driving, dirty rock if they were to continue in this vein, the savage riff and shifting tempo proving irresistible.
Coming in sixth, the title Introlude was confusing until I heard the band live and discovered it was the opening song on their set-list. Perfectly placed in both settings, as the album's midpoint, it wanders at first before honing into trance that never quite oversteps to really thump through the middle. Armin Van Buuren is safe for now but the idea of trance used in conjunction with playful synths and guitar is not unpleasant and with more time, Zombie Computer could perhaps conquer the form. In contrast to the strongest contenders above, songs like Last Cry and Honest Lies fall short with vocals that become irritating: the rhythm of Last Cry is too repetitive and Honest Lies' industrial slant suffers, simply sounding like the band are trying too hard and don't have the right scaffolding to hold it up.
Confusing as the mixture of styles and songs may seem, it's adventurous and they've given their best shot. Unfortunately it does sound disjointed in some places and repetitive in others, and these rough spots will need to be tackled before they find a perfect niche for their musical hybrid. An EP of the four best songs would have been a wiser beginning to really make an impact. Simply put, Zombie Computer strove to make an album of excellent everything, too much too soon. It can be exhausting to keep up with the energy and bombast contained in these songs and there's a long way to go before the fleeting patches of brilliance bleed into one cohesive whole.