“A Telepathic Feeling”
Ed Zealous, the four-piece band from Belfast, sound like they just want to make people dance. On their debut album Wired, almost every song has a moment where the drummer lets the high-hat ring on the off-beats and everything gets turned up to eleven in a way that makes the snarkiest hipster jump and flail their arms like it’s their first show. With electronic elements and their punk roots showing, it’s impossible not to make a comparison to the Talking Heads. But Ed Zealous could never be confused with their forefathers. Their brand of weird is different from that of the gentlemen who rocked the casbah.
The album kicks off with “147,” which opens like a space invasion. The Zealous men, though, come in peace. The song builds slowly but not obviously. Each verse seems to be just a hair faster and louder than the former. The chorus has a familiar chord progression and driving snare hits that make the infectiously dancey interlude feel even more inviting.
Wired is just about split down the middle between rock and dance. Most of the tracks are split themselves. “Talk With Your Hands,” with its dark, tom-heavy drum breakdown and heavily distorted guitar riffs makes the listener think it’s simply a brooding rock song until those damn high-hats kick in and everyone wonders why they were so being serious. “Videohead” is one of the punkiest songs on the album; it has all the staples of UK punk from the late ’80s or early ’90s, manic guitar riffs, and obscure, deadpan lyrics about being in the city and having a break from reality. The album ends appropriately with “This Is The End,” a surprisingly upbeat song that leads you to believe that Ed Zealous isn’t going anywhere.
Ed Zealous don’t hide their influences. Why should they? They’ve done a wonderful job filing off the serial numbers and adding just enough to make the music totally theirs. On Wired the band isn’t content with just falling into a single genre and adhering to that criteria, but creating a sound all their own.