Katang - Zun Zun Egui
Onomatopoeia fans will find plenty to like about Katang. I think the first time I saw the word, it blasted onto the screen in the old Batman TV series when Adam West clobbered some baddie with a metal pipe. I’m guessing there’s a lot of onomatopoeia going on in the lyrics on this album as well. There’s English in there but, you may end up making up your own words if you’re inclined to sing along with the quirky delivery of Kushal Gaya. Zun Zun Egui are self-described “free range rockers from the cultural side streets of Bristol, England.” The sounds on Katang are immediately familiar; bass, drums, guitar, keys. But, ZZE’s execution is a breath of fresh air; palette-cleanser for ears numbed by complacency. I hear all sorts of references on Katang, like the oddball harmonies of the title track and opener that echo old Talking Heads, the quirky time play of experimental rockers like Deer Hoof and the itchy, township style guitar work of Vampire Weekend. The band could easily be lumped into the expanding category of passport rock but they would no doubt be clawing at the sides of the box to find a way out. It’s sufficient to say Zun Zun Egui has a strong sense of self that permeates every aspect of Katang. Keyboardist/singer, Yoshino Shigihara’s vivid artwork that adorns the package is gorgeously inviting. And, that’s the impression you’re left with after listening to Katang. Despite the eclecticism, Zun Zun Egui connects universally at a guttural level that’s creative without the pretense. No wonder they’re becoming a hot live commodity on global stages.