Le Big Zero's EP "At Arm's Length": A Thunderous Grunge Manifesto that Demands Your Attention
It seems to me that recording cult music from the very beginning is impossible. It only becomes such after a while, when people fully appreciate and fall in love with the record. However, when I listen to "At Arm's Length," I get the feeling that Le Big Zero originally intended to achieve cult status.
This EP is heavy, experimental, melodic, and, most importantly, lively. Close your eyes and open your heart to experience real grunge and feel its mind-blowing power. Are you ready for this? Ready to ignite a fire in your heart and embark on a path of rock and anarchy, at least for the next hour? "At Arm's Length" offers pure liberation from conventions and classical life. Le Big Zero's sound pulsates with vibrant energy, as the groovy guitars blaze like an inferno, while Katie Cooney's vocals effortlessly evoke the essential essence of freedom and determination that defines the grunge genre. Believe me when I tell you that "At Arm's Length" is the epitome of these genres, showcasing their very best elements.
As a recent convert to the Le Big Zero fandom, I must say I couldn't have chosen a better time to join. This four-piece rock band has just released their brand new EP, following two full-length albums titled "Ollie Oxen Free" and "A Proper Mess." This means you not only get to explore their previous work but also indulge in fresh material. In my opinion, this EP, captures the finest elements of grunge riff structures and magnifies them into a hardcore, pulsating explosion of rock. Their latest EP has absolutely met and exceeded my expectations, delivering six astonishing tracks that have quickly become favorites of mine. Without a doubt, "At Arm's Length" stands as one of the most powerful rock releases of 2023.
The EP begins with the powerful track "Watch It Burn." Get ready for those incredible guitars that will transport you back to the golden era of grunge, evoking memories of your favorite cassette tapes. The slightly gritty sound and the potent psychedelic rock influences are utterly captivating, immersing you in the raw rock power of Le Big Zero. I'm in awe of the atmospheric vibes and the subtly jazzy harmonies in the vocals. The fusion of seductive vocal parts and psychedelic, heavy grunge is a masterful cocktail expertly crafted by these professionals. In the track "Heavy Handed," all rules and foundations crumble. It's as if the band have tapped into an endless wellspring of grunge, playing to their own rhythm. The arrangement creates the perfect ambiance, and Michael's and Katie's vocals seem to perform their own arias, intertwining with the music to create mesmerizing, unconventional, and sensually harmonious melodies.
THE DARKEST DEPTHS —
The track "Toy" is simply perfect for me. It's a passionate portrayal of reality. The shimmering sound and the distinct instrument tracks give me a slight dizziness, causing me to turn inward and reflect on my own emotions. It serves as a gentle respite in the form of indie rock with subtle hints of psychedelia, providing a welcome break from the album's intense flow while allowing me to savor the bright vocal parts. Following this breath of fresh air, the rock music track "Glad to See You" takes the reins—a hard-hitting rock anthem that blends elements of country, grunge, and rock, accompanied by powerful grunge vocals. Zero' music has the ability to disconnect one from their thoughts and transport them straight to a state of nirvana.
The state of gentle hypnosis persists in the track "Pay No Mind." The guitars ring from ear to ear, rousing the listener from slumber as if the musician is awakening their consciousness and bringing them back to the present moment. This sensation of awakening from a "sleep" is vivid and profound. It is bolstered not only by the guitars but also by the moving rhythm of the drums and the mesmerizing, ethereal vocals. The final track, "Spin Cycle," begins in a vague manner, reflecting the uncertainty that prevailed in the recent past of the planet. It's as if the musicians are observing the world from a distance, reevaluating the events unfolding around them. "Spin Cycle" is my favorite with its captivating blend of gentle acoustic and folk-like vocals, defying the norm and resonating with its arthouse and psychedelic sound, reflecting both worldly events and the depths of human emotions.
EP "At Arm's Length" emerges as a standout gem, weaving together captivating riffs and thunderous beats that serve as a guiding light through the darkest depths of existence. It serves as a reminder that there can be a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel, and it is not the light of an oncoming train. Le Big Zero's music invites us to dive deep into introspection, embracing our emotions and finding the resilience to rebuild ourselves — when the time is right.