Rome-based synthpop trio Zero-Eq have been around since the early 2000s and have had a few releases to their name already, notably the album ‘Bugged Karma’ which was released on US label A Different Drum in 2014. The band’s third EP, ‘Fall’, released this time on Space Race Records provides a stop gap before the forthcoming full-length album.
The band have a very angular and retro sound. Not quite chiptune, but it has that lof-fi modular sound that evokes the days when computer games came in cartridges. ‘Erase’ kicks things off with a steady paced dance groove and smooth echoing vocals which is continued by the second track, ‘Never Let You In’, which is arguably the more memorable of the two. The title track changes things up with a more up-tempo pace and punkier quality, it shows off a more dynamic side to the band’s sound. ‘Negative Changes’ however is in full-blown dance floor assault mode with a strong dance beat, big chorus and strong lead melodies. ‘Inside My Head’ again is harder and more dynamic and shows that the band can get nice and gritty when it suits them.
The remixes courtesy of Retrogramme and Public Domain Resource fair the best out of the four bonus tracks with Retrogramme’s frantic reworking of ‘Fall’ and Public Domain Resource’s discordantly bassey take on ‘Erase’ really changing things up in a nice way.
This is a nice EP. Well rounded, well produced and well written. It ticks a lot of boxes and shows that the band have the tools to make a really good full-length album. However it does very much feel as though they’re keeping their cards close to their chest and they’re holding back their best ideas for the full length. It’s frustrating but strangely intriguing. So hopefully that full album won’t disappoint.