Before I’d even heard a note from Zolle I read online somewhere someone downing the band, saying they were a joke and their label, Supernatural Cat, and the member of (the almighty) Ufomammut who guests on the album should be ashamed of their involvement. To whomever that was, you couldn’t be more wrong, brother. The self-titled debut from this Italian duo might be a little off the beaten path but that path less traveled makes for some mighty fine hiking!
Zolle consists of the duo of guitarist Marcello Lan and percussionist Stefano. It should be noted as well that Ufomammut’s Urlo and Quasiviri’s Roberto Rizzo contribute synth depth to the proceedings. Not that this two-piece unit needed any help constructing a massive sound. Lan’s tone has some serious crunch thanks so some vintage equipment, and Stefano effects feral carnage on his kit.
Zolle basically go where they want, and all without the aid of vocals. That’s right, one less frill to worry about on their quest for sonic destruction. Off-kilter riffs are the base of the album but it’s not without an incredible sense of groove. Stefano’s got that locked down allowing the guitars and synths to wander and fold back on themselves through heavy repetition within its short song lengths. Avoiding the trap set by some other instrumental outfits, Zolle keep the majority of tracks well under the three minute mark choosing instead to pound the listener with whichever killer riff that song has to offer then moving on before attention is lost. ‘Heavy Letam’s marching cadence, the forward-moving skronk of ‘Wetellah’, ‘Trynchatowak’s pulsing elasticity and the urgency of ‘Leequame’ are just a few of the dynamic elements making up and engaging 28 minutes of madness.
As stated, the synths that appear periodically give Zolle another tool with which to construct their not-so-ordinary machine. At 7:40, ‘Moongitruce’ seems like a veritable epic when compared to the succinct tunes that precede it but bears no less impact than the hammer blows on the rest of the album. There’s plenty of movement within the track. It’s smooth and hypnotic with some cool noise and added instrumentation to close it out.
I can’t remember who was bad mouthing this release or maybe I just dreamt it, but I can’t find anything on Zolle worthy of denigration. Fantastic percussion, stellar riffs with absolutely mammoth tone and a keen sense of timing makes Zolle an album that’s incredibly infectious. The lack of vocals may turn some folks off but those people have no sense of adventure anyway.