The Mermaid Lounge

October 08, 2004

As local rock quartet Zoom finished their set at The Mermaid Lounge Friday night, an audience member said, “I loved you at Leeds.” He referenced The Who’s famous concert recording at Leeds, and yes, the band sounds a little like The Who, but not that much. The band doesn’t help references to mod bands with their onstage British flag and open categorization of their music as psychedelic pop, but if they want to be taken as derivative, that’s their prerogative. I’m not buying it, though. It was just rock with extended jams and a nice pop sensibility. The vocal harmonies didn’t hurt.

What impressed me most were bassist and piano melodies. Bassist Scott Crochet had a great energy. He made all kinds of funny rock star “I’m playing so awesome it hurts” guitar god faces. He held his guitar vertically while strumming it dramatically. He really connected with the audience. This always makes it that much easier to get into the music. He looked people right in the eyes and stood on the edge of the stage. His playing was stellar as well. He didn’t just follow the drum rhythm. His lines were complex and gave the music a cool groove. At one point, I swore he was playing a progression similar to the one on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The piano was unfortunately way too low in the mix Friday night. Every once and a while, the bright and easy-going tones rose above the noisy rock and gave the music a fuller texture.

Vocalist/guitarist Settly played songs that were enjoyable and catchy. There were a few duds, but the many wince-causing guitar riffs outshined them. Drummer Kyle Melancon, also of Dash Rip Rock, was a monster as usual. I remember Melancon as a student of Cowboy Mouth’s Fred LeBlanc, and Melancon was just as dramatic Friday night. Almost too dramatic. Ok, we get it. You kick ass and work your ass off during the songs. Just don’t huff and puff between songs like we should feel fortunate you’re working so hard to make the songs better. If you can’t cut it playing the drums for 45 minutes straight, go work out.

The band was solid, and not counting their jamming, I think they could have a great 30-minute set if they cut out their less catchy stuff.

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