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Apparently not wanting to waste any time, Pittsburgh’s premiere electronic rock band Zombi follows up on last year’s 2020 with the five-track EP Liquid Crystal. To call Zombi a rocked-up Tangerine Dream isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s in the right ballpark. Drummer A.E. Paterra’s hard-hitting rhythms move multi-instrumentalist Steve Moore’s soundscapes more aggressively than the usual drum programmed electronica, and Moore himself is happy to add electric guitars and actual bass to the proceedings. Tunes like the space rocker “Black Forest,” the haunted anthem “Liquid Crystal” and the expansive sprawler “Mangler” sound like the pair watched a John Carpenter marathon and decided to create their own soundtracks – dynamic, menacing, fraught with tension, in the synth prog tradition, but with a grittier, more modern sheen. The epic “Turning Points” builds to an almost metallic climax, despite keeping the guitars in check – Paterra’s pounding and Moore’s skyscraping synth waves practically beg to crank up the volume and envelop the entire room. These tracks were recorded during the 2020 sessions, and given their high quality, it’s mind-boggling to imagine how they ended up on the cutting room floor.
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