Feeding off the meat of Metallica, Tool and Mudhoney for years has led up to a rough n’ ready, rugged and garish debut album that builds upon a concrete base of tempo switching guitars and the gnarly, grizzly vocal leanings of Chris Glithero. Right from the ironically titled ‘Pretty Pictures’, The Zico Chain build in eerie atmospheric, instrumental deviations driven from a foundation of throbbing and menacing bass. The latter element is also provided by Glithero who controls the tempo and the mood adeptly with his varied contributions. A love of 80s alternative music seeps through this eleven track stomp that features spasms of paranoid release and intense build-ups. The racing title track oozes youthful bemusement and the James Hetfield in Glithero comes crashing out.
For a trio, The Zico Chain possesses variety and bite from the hounding 80s, garage rock veined ‘Roll Over’ to the haunting and metallic tinged ‘Preach’. For the latter jaunt, the lyrical simplicity that speaks of megalomaniac tendencies bears out best the vocal range on display, as a soft and sombre touch gives the frantic howls that often follow, more poignancy. Guitar fluidity is on refreshing display for the downtrodden ‘No Hoper Boy’, it draws attention away from the slightly clichéd and uninspiring lyrics.
‘All Eyes On Me’, represents the biggest departure for this tortuous trio, in the form of the racing rockabilly style instrumental commencement and the post-grunge, mournful kick that builds in later on, as the vocals get throatier and deeper. Lyrically speaking, it is the deepest that Zico gets and it bears out searching, coming of age poetry. The album gets lyrically stronger as it progresses and the clanging percussion and churning guitar driven final track ‘Anaemia’, sets things up neatly for Glithero to authoritatively spill out a tale of bewilderment.
The stop and start nature of the track adds to the drama and gives it a slight rock opera feel. ‘Food’ is a debut full-length that is probably going to grow in critical acclaim, as this fledgling band grows and produces more albums. It will certainly be one to look back on and is a step towards justifying the saviour of British rock tag that is being slapped on them, by desperate commentators looking for life and fight in this discipline.