Top 20 Releases of 2013: No.8 – ZZZ’s – Magnetica

Despite having a wrongly placed apostrophe in their band name, the ZZZ’s continue to grow in stature, developing their scratchy, clanging no wave sound in more complex artistic directions. Vocals are a far less integral part of Magnetica than of the previous year’s Prescription, but then tracks like DNA and Busy Bee makes the guitars sing in ever more creative ways. The arrangements too offer more diversity, with Drippin’ starting a dance-punk track with call and response vocals interspersed with almost industrial noise, and (A Man Looks Into) the Hole containing both gothic and dub elements. It’s all expertly put together and produced in the scuzziest good taste by Jonathan Kreinik, whose Boombox Magnetica studio gives the EP its title, and helped establish the ZZZ’s as the hippest thing in contemporary Japanese postpunk in 2013.

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