The wallop of guitar and bass violence that is just waiting to come alive in “Disco Ball Rider” is only a sample of what listeners can expect to find in the heavier tracks included on Zero Frequency’s new record The Ocean’s End, Vol. 1, which alongside two other volumes is rocking the underground and stirring up a lot of attention for the acclaimed solo vehicle this season.

All of the thunder of a heavy metal-influenced groove comes crashing down on us in “Heavy Steady Grip,” 70’s-style rhythm gets a redressing courtesy of a stoner rock tonality in “Sunshine of Your Lust,” and if you manage to escape the grasp of the bludgeoning beats of “Euphoria, Euphoria,” you just might need to adjust the volume knob on your stereo to a more audible level.

The Ocean’s End, Vol. 1 isn’t all about mammoth melodies and visceral intensity; “Artemis Descends,” “Black Light Stage,” “Take It Deeper” and “West Coast Refrain” actually offer up some pretty slickly-arranged beats that aren’t completely saturated in fuzz. All of these tracks are spiked with a feverish vitality that makes one song spill into the next in a rather progressive fashion, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is a record that requires your full, undivided attention to impart a cohesive narrative. Zero Frequency doesn’t have to try all that hard to get our complete focus in tracks like “Radio Love Rampage” and the haunting grinder “Death at Sea;” from my experience, the graceful grooves in these songs do fine on their own, in this regard, without any special frills.


Hard rock buffs who felt left out in the cold by the first few months of new music that 2019 has shared with us will probably find the first volume in Zero Frequency’s all-new trilogy of LPs to be exactly what the doctor ordered this season. Fans of the project will be especially pleased with the growth that this artist is showing off throughout all eleven of the tracks that comprise the album, and while there’s no doubt that it’s not as polished or as streamlined as most of the pop music you’re going to hear on the FM side of the dial right now, that’s unquestionably what makes this record the marvelous thrill ride that it is.

Sebastian Cole