September 07, 2003

Zykos "Comedy Horn"

I want to smack Zykos lead singer Mike Booher. I just want to place the backside of my hand upside his head. I feel as if I have a duty to do so. In fact, I have a moral code of conduct that will not allow me to let him get out of a smack upside the backside of his head.


It's simple. He has one of those singing voices that's torn between being smart, smarter than you and utter smart-ass. I hesitant to say 'arrogant,' because, well, that's a given. His style--like Ryan Adams, Johnny Rotten or Issac Brock--it's an utter smug croon that tells me immediatly that this is a man who doesn't think he's superior, he knows it. If it were you child, you'd swat his bottom and send him to his room until he got over his little attitude.

Actually, I don't think Zykos would be as awesome as they are if Booher wasn't this way. See, take away any part of what Zykos does, and you'll have Standard Indie Rock. When you put everything together, though, you've got something extraordinary. It isn't exactly indie rock; it isn't really rock music--it's a new sound, Zykos style. Taking hints from punk, alternative-rock and a little bit of math, throwing in a little bit of herky-jerky squanky indie-rock 'dance music' notions, and you've got Comedy Horn--though, of course, you can't really pigeonhole this record that easily. One minute, it's lovely melodic melody ("Listening Pills") then it's kind of aggressive rock and roll ("Moviehome"), but yet Comedy Horn has subtle hints of dance music ("The Gambler"--not the Kenny Rogers song, darn it!) and indie-pop ("The Dip," "Hilarious Proof").

It would be really easy for this reviewer to go absolutely nuts over Comedy Horn, but I'll refrain from being a little bit odd. I will say this, though--it's a sure sign of greatness when a reviewer can't think of anyone to compare you to, and Comedy Horn has caused me a restless night or two. About the only band I can compare them to--Spoon--is obvious, simply because Spoon's Jim Eno is the producer! You've never heard anything quite as wonderful as Zykos, yet you'll swear you've heard them before. It's post-postrock, if that makes any sense; I'm personally befuddled about them.

Zykos, welcome. The music world needs you--we really need you. You're the antidote an emo-ridden world needs right now, and I just hope that you're heard outside of Austin's city limits. (And no, I wouldn't really want to hit you, Mr. Booher. Hug you, maybe, shake your hand--but never hit.)

--Joseph Kyle

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