Beartown Zodiac – Star map home – review

Any album that features a zombie apocalypse has to be heard. Stuart Walker listens to the latest Beartown Zodiac release and stands ready to administer a headshot where needed

The guys and gals of BZ needed to produce a rabbit out of a hat to follow up the enjoyable EP 'Karaoke Bites' and in this album they've done just that.

Bright and fresh like sunbeams poking through a pair of hangover curtains 'Star Map Home' twins poppy refrains with lyrical amiabilty to give us a well balanced disc.

Starting off the collection with the enjoyable but largely superfluous 26 second title instrumental prelude the album gives us a clear sign of intent with track 2 'Feel the Same' which brings to mind a summer of love and standing on the corner of Haight Ashbury. It's a sort of sixties feel that runs through all of Beartowns tracks to a greater or lesser extent and gives a kind of signature feel to their sounds.

Track 3 ups the tempo and we hear a guitar intro reminiscent of a lighter Dandy Warhols and indeed 'Run for your life' is a track that will no doubt appear in your head periodically.

'Hospital Radio' Continues the theme of lyrics with a dark edge. What's wrong with 'Come on Eileen' anyway?

The band, consisting of Vox and guitar David Bird-Hawkins, Tiff Wheaton-Green on Bass, Alison Jay on violin and keys and the memorable Matthew Musial on drums and guitar have packed in a collection of songs sporting a good variety of sounds that never becomes samey. Foot tappers such as Run and Hospital are neatly matched with more contemplative items like 'Winter Song' and 'The World isn't ready' and even a more folky ending in 'It won't be long'.

 The Eclectic nature of the BZ lyrical content is evidenced in 'I Was a Zombie' where they explore the issues encountered by Ronaldo following his convulsive fit prior to the 1998 World Cup Final. Told you it was eclectic. 


Track Listing

  1. Star Map Home
  2. Feel the Same
  3. Run for Your Life
  4. Hospital Radio
  5. Angel of Light
  6. Time Stands Still
  7. Wait and See
  8. I Was a Zombie
  9. Winter Song
  10. The World Isn't Ready
  11. It Won't be Long

Billed as a trip through wanderlust and homecomings the track list feels like a journey both in terms of musical offering but also of development for this promising and thoughtful band.

Star Map Home gives the listener an exceptional ride through a  poppy, indie, folky landscape that both intrigues and delights.


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