Review: Zatopeks- About Bloody Time

Posted: March 5, 2014 in Reviews

About Bloody Time cover art

Zatopeks are back! And yes, it is About Bloody Time. It has been a whole six years since their last LP, Damn Fool Music  and a whole eight years since their classic pop punk debut Ain’t Nobody Left But Us. The former felt a little bit of a let down, but that reflects more on the pure brilliance of the latter than anything particularly wrong with the former, in retrospect. After all, “Daily Mail” was perfect, while “25 ta Life” is as good as anything they have written. The main criticism with Damn Fool Music, was that they had lost the energy and youthful pace of the debut, but with About Bloody Time, everything is kicked up a gear once again. A few years on, and Zatopeks sounds as relevant and brilliant as ever. They do it best when they are indulging in nostalgic romanticism, as with “Romance of a Bus Stop in the Rain”.

Whether it’s the non-stop pace of “Neu-Isenberg” or the punk-y fist-pumper “Alert”, Zatopeks know how to make a catchy tune. We already knew this, but this re-affirms exactly what we had already suspected: that Zatopeks are the best punk band bar none in the UK right now. Probably for the last decade, in truth. As well as their standard, pop-punk hits, Zatopeks do still mix things up, although to a lesser extent, and to greater effect, than the previous record. The placing of the slower-paced, acoustic “Acetate” (including female vocals), in between the two most energetic songs on the album “Politics” and “Neu-Isenberg” works brilliantly. And it is also evident here more than ever how well-read Zatopeks are: their lyrics are scattered with various literary references, from Albert Camus to Catch 22 to Vladimir Mayakovsky, a Russian futurist writer. To make it clear, these are not just arbitrary references; the song lyrics are formed around these pieces of written work. Most obviously, “One Evening” is an adaptation of a poem by W.H. Auden, but it works best in “Politics”, when they base a song around an obscure German proverb: “Drink it up and fill your gut, but politics, Son, keep your trap shut”. The next time you hear pop-punk derided as dumb, kindly point them in the direction of About Bloody Time.

DB

Further Listening: http://zatopeks.bandcamp.com/

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