A long time ago there was this girl named Zoe, the girlfriend of a friend of mine. For some reason I absolutely despised this girl, probably because of her haughty attitude. So I was pretty happy my friend dumped her at a local rock-party where dance music was strictly forbidden. That same night she went home with another guy, adding the word 'slut' to her already extended resume. Those were fun days.
About twenty years later I found a well taken care of digipac in my mailbox. It came from the French band Zoe and the title of the album is 'Raise the Veil'. Immediatly I remembered that girl back in the days. By now she probably has about three ugly kids, an endlessly boring job and an alcohol problem. That'll teach her. I smiled and inserted the cd into my cd-player for a first spin while doing the dishes. Worth mentioning might be the fact that the artwork made me decide to play this album loudly, very loudly.
Zoe is a stoner/hard rock band that is (hopefully) on the brink of a huge breakthrough with this third album. This album is all about dirty, blues driven rock 'n roll with enough attitude to make an impact. After the creepy intro 'Kellar's Song' Zoe treats us to about fourty minutes of high quality music that can get any party started. Everything about this album breathes the atmosphere of the golden era of rock music and is highly influenced by bands like Motorhead, Monster Magnet and AC/DC. However, Zoe blends it all into their own distinct sound. From up-tempo rock 'n roll explosions like "Dusty Truck" and "The Wolf" over stoner rock anthems like "Astral Projection" and "Time is not on my side" to gritty blues song "Rollercoaster Blues", Zoe seems to have it all.
Often in these genres the vocals tend to be a problem but in this case they fit in perfectly well with the overall sound of the album. Fred sometimes sounds like a smoking and whiskey drinking blues vocalist, giving the album a lot of credibility. Besides, the band consists of talented musicians who have rock 'n roll flowing through their veins, including several guest musicians from bands like Drums & Guns, Dee N Dee and Spermicide. So it's not really a surprise that this album has a lot of variation and that it keeps on entertaining the listener from start to finish.
To conclude I can only say that 'Raise the Veil' is an outstanding album, a worthy tribute to decent music and to instrument builders. This stuff is what guitars, drums and basses are made for. I honestly hope that this album will elevate Zoe and opens the doors to many stages around the world, and if they're coming to a venue near you, go and watch them. It might just become an unforgettable evening and twenty years from now you will remember it and say "those were fun days..."