THE ZOLTARS are an up and coming band out of Austin, Texas. Their debut LP, “Should I Try Once More?” drops via Sundae Records, which tells a track-by-track story about someone falling in love all over again.
It’s an interesting idea to say the least, but to really prove their dedication to this, they’re releasing a new music video for each song of the album for every new week in April. Each new music video is supposed to be a new scene in the love story, which by the end the whole story should come full circle (click here and scroll down to see where they are in the process). Possibly even more interesting than this is the story about how the Zoltars came to be – you can read more about their beginnings right here. It’s nothing totally out of the ordinary, but it’s a good and informative read nonetheless.
As for “Should I Try Once More?”, it turns out to be quite a captivating record. Each of the 10 tracks combine for just under 30 minutes of material, comprised completely of slow-moving, lethargic, downer-pop anthems that are utterly delectable. Take the opening track “Lost From Long Ago” for an early and fitting example. The track presses on at a menacingly slow pace, almost like dragging your feet in the dirt on a cloudy, dreary day. The guitars shimmer carefully in the little bits of sunlight that break through the clouds, never quite being enough to lift the mood. The relentless pound of the bass drum drives the song, keeping the sweeping snares and lofty guitars afloat. Lead singer Jared Leibowich guides us through the daunting rhythm with obvious vocal prowess, which becomes an even bigger factor in later songs.
I speak of no other than “You Can Take It If You Want”, where Leibowich welcomes us with his catchy, descriptive verses that so easily paint a picture in your mind. His voice can be just as hypnotizing as the music backing it, giving this entire record two huge elements that can grasp your attention at any given moment and refuse to let go. Another fantastic example of this comes in “The Perfect Girl”, where his voice combines flawlessly with the plucked guitar hook that drives the delicate song. The same goes for a track like “If It Were Up To Me”, which feels a bit more fast paced with the bouncy guitar riff that opens the song. During the chorus Leibowich’s voice meets with the harmonizing backup vocals, creating an easily accessible and honest song that is too good to be true.
Other later tracks like “I Took Your Girl Away” definitely help give the overarching story some context, which shouldn’t be too hard to piece together as the record plays out. By now you might also realize that every last one of these songs could be considered a highlight of the album, whether it’s the heavenly guitars of “Once Upon a Midnight Ride” or the frantic, relentless qualities of a track like “Indian Princess”.
Hear a good chunk of the album below and be sure to check out The Zoltars Bandcamp if you want to hear more from the record. If that’s not enough, you can always snag the vinyl LP from Sundae Records – see you there! Also, Happy Record Store Day!
Lost From Long Ago –
Make It Go Away –
The Perfect Girl –
If It Were Up To Me –
My Rating: SS
Genre/ Tags: Pop, Slowcore, Garage Rock
Should I Try Once More? LP: Tracklist:
1.) Lost From Long Ago
2.) You Can Take It If You Want
3.) Make It Go Away
4.) The Perfect Girl
5.) Should I Try Once More?
6.) If It Were Up To Me
7.) I Took Your Girl Away
8.) Indian Princess
9.) Once Upon a Midnight Ride
10.) Dying House