According to Zom
Zoms' MySpace page, two males by the unlikely names of
Zom Philmapster and Zoms Frenchman have been living and making
music together for a number of years. The story goes that
Zom, a retired encyclopaedia salesman, met Zoms when he took
a job as a pizza delivery driver. "Obsessed with the similarity
of their first names, the two became fast friends and soon
discovered their common love for the musical arts. Moving
in together was a logical choice and it allowed Zom and Zoms
to dedicate themselves almost exclusively to music (and delivering
pizza, which they now do freelance)."
But one listen to Zom Zoms, and this almost makes sense. They sound like guys
who would talk about music whilst delivering a marguerita and garlic bread.
And when I say music, I mean – specifically – Devo, because these are guys
who have clearly spent far too much time listening to their heroes from Akron.
And although they have resisted placing plant pots on their heads, they do
go for a matching polka dot look and have previously been described as dressing
like "four gay Noddy's on meths"! It's perhaps no surprise then that when I
reviewed their One Brain mini-album
a while back, I used words like "wacky", "zany", and "daft". And little
has changed on this follow-up, because Yellow Rainbow is wacky,
zany, and daft, too! If I tell you that my daughter walked in and asked what this was
in a "what-the-hell-are-you-listening-to-dad?" kind of way, before adding
that it sounded like her little brother's "DS gone mental", then you should
have some idea what it sounds like.
Yellow Rainbow opens with Deciduous Prophet, one of the best numbers here, sounding not unlike a speeded up Jocko Homo. Another highlight, Caught On Tape, finds them squealing "I'm on film / number one / FBI / CIA / KGB / PTA / STD / EMI" etc over a TVOD-like backing. The pick of the lot, however, is the title track which is almost irritatingly catchy, which is no mean achievement considering the chorus goes "Forty-four minutes in the sun, your retina will come undone".
Other highlights include Entertainment From Out Of Town, which sounds
like what the early Teardrop Explodes b-side Camera Camera might have
sounded like if the original tapes had been badly stretched, The Race of
Zom Zoms with its Uncontrollable Urge feel, and the rather sinister
sounding Nightmare Stampede. Yellow Rainbow ends with Pizzarama
Universe, which actually sounds like an early Wire song,
albeit with Colin Newman being backed by Devo with the Gang
Of Four's Andy Gill guesting on guitar, rather than by Messrs Gilbert,
Lewis, and Gotobed.
Admittedly a whole album of this can start to get a little bit too much as
it can seem like something of a headf*ck after a while, but they do exude a
certain, er, charm. Unfortunately, their
MySpace page also includes a tiny
message that says, quite simply, "We are defunct--no longer performing." That's
a real shame, because there's something about Zom Zoms that puts a smile on