Jammez – Zen Arcade (Hüskier then the rest)
Zen Arcade is the name of an album by American rock band Hüsker Dü. It is also the name of an edgy rock band that came to light in South Africa in the early 2000’s. They produced some fine, polished rock, particularly on their debut album ‘Snowflake’. ‘Jammez’ was an early release of theirs, appearing on the EP, ‘Letter From A Friend’ and it is a little rough compared to later stuff, but it introduced us to this emerging talent.
There are hints of the Chili Peppers in the funky guitar and asymmetric rhythms, while Iain Mackenzie’s strong vocals have a disturbing, almost brittle edge and urgency to them. The overall affect is to leave you feeling slightly ill at ease, but at the same time highly satisfied.
The song made it to number 2 on the SA Rock Digest’s weekly charts and also made their list of the top 50 songs of 2002, coming in at number 42. Yes, their later material benefited from their growing experience and exposure, allowing record companies to spend a bit more money on their studio time and production, but this original gem from them is well worth seeking out.
Where to find it:
Letter From A Friend EP – Zen Arcade, June 2002, Zen Arcade, ZACD00