Zarbo - 'Zarbo'

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Zarbo - 'Zarbo'

A wonderful revelation.

A duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Paul Bishop and Andy Heath, the pair formed Zarbo in Brighton in 2010, and they have crafted a staggeringly good twelve track debut album that is reminiscent of the music of Mark Knopfler across his post-Dire Straits period with a smidgeon of Ray Davies' (The Kinks) compositional sensibilities included as well. Read on if this sounds like your cup of tea...

Well written songs, all around the three minute mark that lie on the cusp of joyous Americana, intelligent pop and all manner of associated genres, Zarbo's is one of those releases that simply shouts out to be heard by those of you who enjoy witty lyrics that are also poignant and at times acerbic ("Buses don't see you, taxis pass you by..." ('Tuesday Night'), "They fuck you up with television and fill your tiny mind with indecision..." ('Soul Vampires'), "I give you nothing but you still want more..." ('Talking To Da Man') and "You're the shit on the shoes of Humanity, you..." ('Moany, Moany')) give you some idea of what I am more than hinting at.

These are lyrics that ought to be available to read and enhance the joyous experience of listening to this album, but sadly the very basic packaging of the album is its major letdown, and although the artwork is pretty decent, I personally seek something more substantial when buying the physical product, and so should you – otherwise the digital download option becomes attractive I suppose (although this option is not for me!)

No additional musicians contribute to this album, so messrs Bishop and Heath play a plethora of different instruments including banjo (frequently to the fore), acoustic guitar, kazoo, harmonica, dobro, musical saw and car horn and both contribute "foot percussion". They certainly kick up a storm and have provided a beguiling left-field release that I know some of you will adore as much as I.

A wonderful revelation.

Paul Jerome Smith

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