Thursday, 3 November 2011

Zambri - Glossolalia EP

Zambri are a New York five piece with sisters Jessica and Cristi Jo Zambri on vocals. Sounding somewhere between an apocalyptic Warpaint (especially on ‘On Call’) and a more understated Sleigh Bells (with less guitars and more rusty metal sounds), this intriguing EP contrasts abrasive, industrial sounds and metallic drumbeats with soft, beautiful vocals. With such a reliance on those metallic beats, Zambri could be in danger of becoming repetitive. No fear; they manage to keep interest with varying beats, such as the multitude of handclaps on ‘News’.

‘Glossolalia’ may at first be a strange listen. Understandably, this music is not going to be for some. A lot of people probably won’t ‘get’ it. However the EP is in fact full of hooks and pop sensibilities, despite the harsh exterior. It’s actually quite orchestral at some points too, with beautiful harmonies between voices and music, especially on ‘To Keep Back’. As well as the contrast between the music and the angelic vocals, the lyrics are also quite tender: ‘take care .../ on call’ (‘On Call’), ‘my heart is jumping / right out of my skin’, ‘time doesn’t exist’ (‘To Keep Back’).

The hip-swaying, sultry ‘Heather’ with the purring lyric ‘you can call me Heather/ or whatever’, off beat drums and strange raven-like noises is a highlight, but so too is the ‘other’ mix of ‘On Call’, named ‘On Call (biddibiddi)’. The downright creepy ‘biddibiddibom’ at the start of the track only adds to the slightly uneasy feeling this album imparts; Zambri create such a spooky atmosphere. This too-short EP definitely leaves me eager to hear more.


By Holly Read-Challen

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