Zechs Marquise had me at hello, being named after one of the most gangster anime characters of all time. From El Paso, Texas, ZM carries the banner of ‘sister band’ to the might Mars Volta. Hell, three of the members are related to Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, with Marcel performing double duty of percussion with the Mars Volta. Signing with Sargent House a few years ago, ZM is back with their second LP, Getting Paid. If the record sales are anything like the funky, kick ass factor of this album, they’ll be getting paid indeed.
A major departure from their first album, Getting Paid sounds a lot more like the song Chase Scene from said first album. The recording is cleaner, and the talented group feels more cohesive and engaging. To what I would describe as instrumental Rock-Funk madness, it’s been a great album to drive to around the mean streets of LA. You can’t help but feel like you’re on the prowl in a 70’s movie.
The album opens with the title track¸ Getting Paid, and hits heavy with cymbal crashes leading into a steady beat. The funk is palpable, and you’ll want to get into trouble before the track is done. Wailing guitars are like sirens overhead, with a vicious bridge at about 1:40. This leads to a breakdown that transforms the remaining few minutes of the song.
The 3rd track, Static Lovers carries a funky bass line throughout. This song is interesting because I felt like I could predict where the riffs were going next, but to no avail. At first I wasn’t sure what to think, but I later found it refreshing to hear. Also, the guitar work on the album is something to be admired, especially on this track. Note that this is one of the few songs to have any speaking at all. While badass, I have absolutely no idea what they are saying.
Bands rarely epically close their albums out anymore, but this is an exception to the apparent rule. Track nine, Mega Slap opens with an eerie, but familiar bass line among ghastly strings before beginning. If you paid close attention, the bass line is similar to the second track, Lock Jaw Night Vision. If anything, this feels like a reprise to that song, and a welcome endeavor it is. The whole album comes crashing down on this song, and truly played test to the skills of the whole band, with the drums going off the deep end at times, but slowing things down at two break downs spaced through the song.
I had the chance to catch Zechs at the farewell RX Bandits show in Los Angeles at the Mayan Theater, and seeing them live is a sight to behold. When you are an instrumental band, you really have to bring the rain, and bring that rain they did.
The album drops September 27th, so get a copy and don’t get into too much trouble. Zechs is currently on tour throughout September, with double Los Angeles love, so I suggest you take a look at their tour page. See you there son!
Until next time my friends,