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the zid - released March 1997 - Reviews

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A transposed delight, The Zid is the latest album from Tucson's schmanciest, home- grown band, The Piz, and it couldn't be later! On first listen, I swore that these songs were recorded in another world. Not only are these New Zwitzihalla and Hopkend guys cute, they're also talented zombie pirates.

Don't let the initial station-surfing of "Change it, Bill"--a hand-hewn radio medly of the happy guys covering Nirvana and Bauhaus and mocking Marilyn Manson tunes--throw you!

Knot on a bib and indulge in their "Chocolate Dinner"--a delicious earful, surely molded with The Residents' genius in mind.

" 'Chocolate Dinner' is awesome," said Ruby James, the little fawn with the big, brown eyes who plays guitar for the band.

Indeed the song would fit seamlessly into Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"Oh. No. Please. Stop," said Willy Wonka, not too convincingly. The band plays on.

"Choke You and Kill You Underwater" is nothin' you've ever seen. With its syrupy falsetto flavorings, "Coconut Juice" embodies the lazy days of summer vacation, spent lounging on the beaches of Hawaii. The dissonant choruses of "Johnny and the Platypus" could instill paranoid neurosis in listeners. Colored with kazoo stylings, "Salamander/Monkey Jig" is a story of murder and mayhem.

"I see you through through all the mist and haze, and you frown all the while," sings the woodland creature in a voice reminiscent of Alvin, Simon, or Theodore.

Sung in the British rock tradition, "Officer Bobby" documents the brutal plight of a police bobby with imaginary friends against a rival anarchist with real friends. The pagan "Into the Cathedral We Go" reminds me of the anomie present in the back of the antique shop in George Orwell's 1984; read it now for true pleasure before you are made to read it for senior research. "Bone in the Road" is the soliloquy of a pretty neglected pup.

"Jacket, the Brown" is Eli "Jonbobby" McFee's favorite track on the album. McFee plays bass--wrongly--for the band.

"Brown jacket, please come back; brown jacket, I miss you," pleads Robbie Cushman, the band's vocalist, before he comes to terms with his loss and floats in the clouds, high above the trees.

In the meantime, the drummer Paul Henry looks for a skinny arm.

- Katie-Kat Pukas

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