“Century Rail” begins Taxis on a curious, jaunty note for Detroit’s Zoos of Berlin. The keyboard bounces along while guitarist Trevor Naud and bassist Daniel I. Clark amicably share vocal duties. The playful track paints with a colorful palette that includes some nice keyboard flourishes and an echoing trumpet. It makes the listener wonder what type of album follows.
Unfortunately, the underdeveloped dance-rock of second track “Black in the Sun Room” unsettles the mood and can’t quite match the opener’s intrigue. Then the six-minute “Juan Matus” allows the band to satisfyingly wander the spectrum from lilting post-rock and unexpected tempo shifts to ominous synth washes and back again. “Our Jailer Eats Alone” feels like a fleeting thought rather than a full-fledged idea. Later, there’s dance-rock done well with the genuinely likable “Electrical Way”. Thus, like so many before them, unevenness and a sense of uncertainty plague a promising band’s debut full-length.
That said, there’s still a lot to like here. Taxis is a well-produced album; one where each instrument and vocal harmony floats in its own space with nothing bleeding in between. The effect may be a bit clinical, but it suits the genteel, steely vibe of Zoos of Berlin. The members of the band, having played in various notable bands such as Pas/Cal and collaborated with the likes of Carl Craig, are clearly proficient, well-connected players. Greater cohesion and clarity of vision are certainly in the future given the talent and production acumen on display throughout Taxis.
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// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article