ZEN ATTACK

1982

ZEN ATTACK Kensington Ad Lib, London

SILLY NAME for a group. Zen and the art of making loud noises onstage?

The rape and pillage of the Dalai Lama? Just what was ‘Brillo’ Graham, former skin-beater with Girl, up to alongside the equally unlikely named bassist Roscoe Gee and guitarist Pete Bonus? Would they dress up as marauding monks?

Fears were reduced to a bare minimum though as Brillo thrashed out a resounding beat as the focal-point of this band. The mans energy is quite phenomenal. Zen Attack play some of the heaviest blues I have encountered in a long time. Songs entitled ‘Ammunition In My Condition and ‘Paranoid Blues’ (I think) are delivered with a rare combination of guts and enthusiasm

Despite what appears to be an exercise in perverse narcissism by installing a drum-side mirror that enables Brillo to admire himself as he sings in a voice not dissimilar to his former frontman Phil Lewis, his drumming remains as competent and powerful as ever. Sidemen Gee and Bonus add their own personal touches to the, as yet, imperfectly formed numbers, the former with the occasional pleasing funky bass-line and the latter declining to adopt the usual HM ‘heroic’ poses in favour of wrenching some tasteful sustain from his guitar.

Zen Attack are performing blues of the ‘Since l’ve Been Loving You’ style. The quality, while still in the rough‘n’ready stages, needs only careful honing to smooth out the edges without losing the raw power. Recommended viewing to anyone hankering after the days of the Yardbirds or the early Jeff Beck Group.

Still think it’s a silly name though.

DAVE DICKSON

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