The Zoltars New EP Live Like Dragons


Featuring the post punk minimalistic stylings of No Age and other west coast garage outfits, Austin’s The Zoltars have been described as a band that can deliver a “quiet loud punch.” Their second EP Live Like Dragons (recorded and mixed by The Young’s Hans Zimmerman) comes with promises of another full-length by the end of the year. The Zoltars offer up something bolder and darker than their last full length album, Should I Try Once More?, which dropped on Sundae records in 2012. With a new label, CQ Records (which also carries Austin’s Love Collector), and collaborations with Kevin Adickes from Literature, The Zoltars maintain their lo-fi party monster angst while thumping out a brand new fever of lamentation and experimentation.

Opening with the heady house party classic “All My Friends,” the EP channels the spirit of National Lampoon’s Animal House – absent of the college fraternization of course, but rife with shenanigans of crashing the only late night suburban shindig within miles.

At the start of “Heroin Thunder,” the band’s trademark vocal depression and characteristic psychedelic daze blends into this nihilistic ballad about a bad trip (or good, you can be the judge). Having been compared to the Velvet Underground for their trance-inspired drone and retro appeal, The Zoltars may have perhaps stuck this one in the mix as a tribute or homage to the widely influential “Heroin,” originally released on the 1967 debut release of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Even though the track is summoning the listening audience to “head down South,” it instead conjures up disturbing images of a tornado-stripped, barren Midwestern town, much like what you can see in Harmony Korine’s film, Gummo.

Finally, Live Like Dragons takes a fearless nose dive into a darker realm closing with the moody “In The Basement.” Rhyming incongruities and repetition lend support to the alt/art-rock motif which The Zoltars rely heavily upon in this song. The track is also sprinkled with declarations of death as in “Heroin Thunder.” The haunting wail of the guitar transplants the listener to the cold and dank “basement of death” about which the band sings.

Live Like Dragons spells out new avenues for The Zoltars. Each song stands alone transitioning from a lively high with “All My Friends” to the melancholy low of “In The Basement.” And looking ahead to their upcoming LP, we can probably expect a heightened maturity in subject matter and woeful, even noisier rock.

– Audrey Rodriguez