Friday, 18 May 2012

Zulu Winter - Language

Zulu Winter are a London five piece who formed in 2010. Hotly tipped debut single ‘Never Leave’ mixed the focused intensity of White Lies with the summery rhythms of Friendly Fires, courtesy of rhythm section Iain Lock and Guy Henderson but ‘Language’ has plenty more to offer than just a buzz-abetted single.

The quintet tackle Foals' spacious tribal pop on the bopping ‘Key to My Heart’ whilst standout ‘We Should Be Swimming’ finds vocalist Will Daunt working himself into a fey frenzy worthy of the Wild Beasts. With lines like ‘Oh me, oh my, I’m feverish with this life, stumbling through hoops, tripping over these loops, pushed by the pen and forced by the boot’ it can’t help bring to mind ‘We’ve Still Got the Taste Dancing On Our Tongues’ from Wild Beasts' ‘Two Dancers’. In fact, it’s far from the only time Zulu Winter invoke a very British high camp, pitched between Morrissey’s high mindedness and the Wild Beasts lasciviousness.

‘Words That I Wield’ uses funky bass to underpin chiming guitar and synth washes with a clattering rhythmic breakdown leading into its possessive final chorus whilst big guns like ‘Silver Tongue’ deploy twitchy Talking Heads synth-funk ‘you accuse me of clowning’ before exploding into a grandiose Coldplay chorus.

Their sound is never particularly original with elements clearly drawn from most of the successful British indie bands of the last decade and it never quite nails the abrasive thrills you got from hearing say Foals for the first time but when you’re borrowing from the best sources and making something as catchy as ‘Language’ then originality is not the be all and end all. Ambitious but melodic and with a support slot with Keane on their forthcoming theatre tour, I would suggest that Will Daunt and co’s own leap to bigger venues may not be too far away

Brace yourselves, Winter is coming.


Max Sefton

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