The Zillions - Zig-Zag Zillionaire

For every, er, Bros there's a Crowded House, in which brothers Nick and Tim Finn swapped beautiful harmonies over assured but heartbreaking pop songs. Still from Australia comes The Zillions, a band that consists of no one but Nick Craft, who's reaching the UK in a 679 Recordings two-step with his brother, M.Craft but whether there's been a Finn-brothers niggling competitiveness that leaves them unable to remain in the one band or a more honest-to-goodness falling out is not something that's been confirmed by the record label.

Listening to Zig-Zag Zillionaire, there's the feeling of being back in 1991 and hearing Slowdive, Ride and Lush. So clearly influenced are The Zillions by My Bloody Valentine - and how long has it been since that's been said - there's often little to separate the music here from that of Isn't Anything or Loveless other than Nick Craft's dry, home-recorded vocals being far from the swirling harmonies of Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher. Indeed, Your Eyes is so close to Sometimes from Loveless that I was scanning the inlay sleeve for a co-writing credit for Shields but, elsewhere, the rippling guitars that ebbed and flowed across Loveless are notable by their absence.

Nick Craft likens The Zillions to both My Bloody Valentine and The Byrds and it's this tempering of the sound of one by that of the latter that best describes Zig-Zag Zillionaire. The number of copies of Loveless that made it to the second-hand record shops in the days after its release is testament to most of the population's thoughts on it and Craft is wise to smooth out its more extreme moments with Byrdsian pop, particularly on Don't Waste Your Tears On Me and the charging pop of Step Into The Sun. Best of all, though, is the last song out of the six on this mini-album, One Step Behind Me, in which Nick Craft's folk influences creep into a slow pop song.

In spite of the release of this record by 679 Recordings and the smart sleeve art by Richard Gilliberto, there remains something of the demo tape about this mini-album - all of the music was played by Nick Craft and there's an roughly innocent charm behind each of the songs here but, similarly, there isn't the kind of quality you'd associate with a major release. With the scratchy, homespun style that's in the music and the artwork, this is the kind of record that should appeal to those My Bloody Valentine fans who mourn the long gaps between Kevin Shields' releases but who've got a little room in their hearts for the naive music from Belle & Sebastian.

Overall

8

out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 12:14:01

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