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  • Writer's pictureCase Cockrell

Austin act Zettajoule unleashes nearly 60 minutes of epic Synth-Pop on 2021 release Crab Rabbit

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

"Pop music with left turns." That's what the biography of the Austin act Zettajoule reads on their Facebook page. On the band's new release, Crab Rabbit, the band finds themselves sculpting a sound that transcends any genre-related restriction. Since their first release in 2018, Zettajoule shows a monumental form of progression on this new release. The result is a blissful experience that will have listeners hitting repeat constantly.

Crab Rabbit is Zettajoule's debut LP release. In 2018, the band released their EP "Always Looking Up." This release was recorded primarily on an iPhone. That kind of resourcefulness makes authenticity in a piece of music stand out among other contemporary releases. Songwriting team Matt Sheffer and Meggan Carney have created a strikingly relevant work on this album, and it's as relevant as it is captivating.

"Our last EP, "Always Looking Up," released in 2018, gave us quite a bit of attention with radio play as well as getting to open for some national touring acts. It felt like we were on the brink of something major from a publicity standpoint. But then, of course, everything changed after Covid hit. But we've been taking this time to hone our production & recording skills. We're not great at it, but you have to pull your own resources in these crazy times." Singer/Songwriter Meggan Carney said.

Something that stands out in Zettajoule's music is its ability to create something odd yet sensical. To clarify, the band makes things people might not have known they enjoyed. This happened to me on the LP Crab Rabbit, and the creativity and growth shine on this new release. On the opening track, "Rabbit," Zettajoule gives the listener an opening statement of what they are about to experience. The vocal delivery on this record provides an ethereal vibe of something that might be found on a later Radiohead record or a Tame Impala record.

The band brings the rock on the track "Never Tell the Truth." The heavy instrumentals on the track bring a heavy Psychedelic sound that only lets up for the soaring chorus that also features some of the fiercest vocal deliveries on the record. Something to note about this release is how immersive it sounds to the listener. I find myself being able to dive into any of these tracks and let the music do the work. Immersiveness is what's missing from a lot of popular music these days, and the shortage of records that will send you on a trip seemingly lacks in this day and age. Crab Rabbit succeeds at this, and this record delivers sounds that set a caliber for the local scene.

Crab Rabbit's immersive habit continues on the track "Operation Groupthink." The massive sounding synths on this track create a razor-sharp atmosphere backed by an arena-ready vocal section that would likely have the whole joint singing along. When I think of the title of this track, I think of the year 2020. When everyone was stuck at home due to the ongoing pandemic, the media took charge of the world. No live music, no gatherings, and politics took a front seat in our day-to-day lives. The press had become a source of anguish and confusion, and there was a shortage of distraction from this. Records and Netflix were seemingly all we had, and this album is a fitting work of art that fills that void.

More standout tracks include the cataclysmic number "Tunnels," which has a bassline that dials it in and never stops throbbing until the track reaches its end. This track could be akin to an unconventional rollercoaster of sorts, and my head was bobbing through the track's 3-minute runtime. The closing number ". Everything is Wrong (And it's Everybody Else's Fault)" serves as a fitting finale for the fantastic trip the listener has just experienced. "Sound the alarm, fire the missiles," Sheffer sings on this track. The lyricism on this entire record serves as an exciting narrative for the present time. The world has been in a state of disarray for quite some time now, and the light at the end of the tunnel is finally beginning to open. Hopefully, we'll get to see some shows soon and experience the thrill of a live performance again soon.

Songwriting duo Zettajoule has produced a piece of work that makes me anticipate more from the group. This one is a transcendent body of work that is made to mystify its audience. Give it a listen today.

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