I’ve always liked Zombie Roof, but I’m always surprised that, after 30 years, to learn the Squamish-based trio still exists. Until Somewhere in America, I had no contact with the band for about 20 years. As the liner note inside Somewhere In America makes clear, there is a reason for that. As they grew into adulthood adult matters – marriage, kids, jobs – put Zombie Roof on the back burner.
What makes Somewhere In America surprising is those 20 years might as well have not existed, Sure, they’re older and the songs are written from a lived-and-learned perspective but they attack them with a vitality of much younger men.
Augmented by Steve Baer and Chris Relling, Trent Atkinson, Todd Mader and Enzo Milia have made a topical rock and roll record when topical rock is hard to find. It has bite and melody (check out the oldest song here, Company’s Man), great riffs and smart arrangements. Milia told me that Zombie Roof (and producer Mark Henning) were influenced by Vancouver’s Sons Of Freedom. Musically, the influence is not obvious, but the Sons never dealt in bullshit and had a defiant attitude. The guitar playing by Don Harrison was creative and memorable while the rhythm section of Don Short and Don Binns was muscular, direct rather than busy..
Similarly , cover art excepted, there is no bullshit to Somewhere In America. Not flashy but direct. There is a punk attitude offset by an approach to funk-rock (most obvious in Automatic) reminiscent of Aerosmith.
You get the feeling that those 20 years between albums offered a lot of food for thought. It’s resulted in an album that spans time..