It’s hard not to see Zoot Woman’s new album ‘Star Climbing‘ as self-indulgent retroism, riffing of the League and Mode, with the plastic-y synth-pop of the 80s. But if you dig a little deeper there’s so much more to ‘Star Climbing‘ than cheesy neon riffs as messers Blake, Blake and Price have years of experience under their belt and a degree of freedom that’s often not afforded to your average British band.
Their brand of neon indie for the most part has been club-facing over the years – that’s not to say you’re going to hear them in the club, but the tempos are generally brisk, and the synths are more Soft Cell than the League. The album’s opener, ‘Don’t Tear Yourself Apart‘ is arguably the perfect start; a rip-roaring progressive opener that finds Johnny Blake on imperious form as he delivers one of the album’s best vocals.
Proving their not a one-trick pony, ‘Silhouette‘ changes up the tempo and forgoes the club structure for something more akin to sugary male pop. ‘Coming Up For Air‘ is one of the album’s more heartfelt offerings – but there’s something about its summery disposition that will win you over almost immediately. What’s apparent early on from ‘Star Climbing‘ is it doesn’t just sound like a Price production from start-to-finish, and while that might sound like a bad thing, it’s actually not, ‘Star Climbing‘ offers a broader palette than you might expect. For the Price aficionados of you out there, there are grade-a Price sounding songs littered through out ranging from Thin White Duke to Paper Faces, with the pulsating ‘Nothing In The World‘ and ‘The Stars Are Bright‘ springing immediately to mind.