Monday 28 February 2022

Z28 - Mach II (Album Review)

Release Date: February 25th 2022. Record Lael: Self Released. Format: DD

Mach II - Tracklisting

1.Loneliness Never Lets Me Down 07:06

2.Wall of Static 07:10

3.Good 'Ol Days 06:50

4.Better Days 06:56

5.Black Sabbath in Italian 04:00

6.Race With the Devil 05:11

7.Ghosts & Goblins 05:31


Jeff Hayward - Vocals, Guitar

J. Negro - Vocals, Bass

Breaux Silcio - Drums, Tambourine, Vocals

Nate Grande - Organ, Keyboard, Backing Vocals

Harmonica on "Better Days" performed by Jay Scheffler


Stoner Metallers Z28 return after an almost three year absence with their new album Mach II. Whilst their debut album was a mixture of Punk Rock,  Desert Rock and KYUSS based Stoner Metal sounds, Mach II sees the band operate with a more Blues Rock open environment. The KYUSS influence is still there but also they move even further into the Classic Rock stratosphere with a highly refined Blues Rock sound and they manage to bring a seedier slice of Classic Hard Rock.

Opening song Loneliness Never Lets Me Down is a  great song to open the album with. As Z28 soon settle into their heavy Blues Rock based Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal ways. There is a cool organ being played on certain parts of the song and brings a feeling of The Doors jamming with both Black Sabbath and KYUSS at the same time. There is also the added bonus of Fuzz Rock/Desert Rock soon making its way to the front of Z28’s creative vision.

The first half of the album has the lengthier tracks with the first four songs running around seven minutes each and there is nothing too flashy or progressive with these songs. As the band focus in playing their Sixties and Seventies inspired mix of Blues Rock, Heavy Metal and Hard Rock are given a good Stoner Rock/Metal makeover especially on the standout tracks Wall Of Static, Good 'Ol Days and Better Days. 

Z28 aim high on these songs and the classic heyday of Desert Rock/Stoner Metal is there but the band have way too much fun with the classic sounds of Seventies Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. There are some lovely flourishes of distorted Amplifier Worship and Psychedelic weirdness on Wall Of Static and Better Days.

The second half of the album is less frenzied but still equally impressive with Black Sabbath In Italian and Race with The Devil leaning more into Doom Rock with Z28 still offering genuine different waves of excitement for this album.

Mach II is a superbly produced and well observed album packed full of different heavy mood pieces over the last fifty years of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal whilst still holding that modern day streetwise Stoner Metal attitude.

Words by Steve Howe


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