O Zeta Zunis brings Trumans Water back to the United States, certainly in Asthmatic Kitty Records giving them their first stable domestic label home in over a dozen years, arguably longer. That alone should assist in re-introducing them stateside. But Trumans never really left. Too true, the vet American “spazz-rock”/”squiggle-core” quartet has been scarce in their native land in recent years: releases mostly on Euro-labels; touring almost exclusively “over there.” One co-founding Branstetter brother, singer-guitarist Kevin, even settled down in France; the other, guitarist-vocalist Kirk, remains in Portland, Oregon, where TW set up in 1995 (formed in San Diego circa 1991).
The 14 tracks of O Zeta Zunis manage one helluva collective double-feat: sounding like distinct, engaging, chance-taking, raw-boned guit-stoked rock to any given listener -- whether they know the Water or no -- and coming off to TW fans as strikingly fresh while hearkening back to classic Trumans material. Yes, the latter means going all the way back to 1992’s debut Of Thick Tum -- enthusiastically tracked by legendary Brit radio DJ John Peel in its entirety, c’est vrai -- and their 1993 2xLP follow-up, Spasm Smash XXXOXOX Ox & Ass. (Note: you’re still on your own in unraveling Trumans-ian title-age.) O Zeta Zunissports a few slowed-up passages that help accentuate the melodic riff-drive of “Last Time” or the balls-out whizz-bang of “Greased Water,” the twitchy-catchy frolic of “5-7-10 Split” or the rubbery buzz-chug of “You Live Out Loud.” There’re loping jams and snappy sonic sputter-blasts as well. Essence of Trumans. Folks, this ain’t history -- this is ... living, loopy rock and/or roll! Trumans Water never left so won’t you please welcome them back?
released August 24, 2010
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