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Zen


Released: 1994 (CS)
Garden Grove, CA
Recorded at: The Doom Room
Produced by: Daynon Scott

Personnel:

Song List:

  1. Feel The Love
  2. Seven
  3. Last Tribe

This is with the old singer, who sounds totally like Geoff Tate of Queensryche.

[UPDATE:] Some of this material has been rereleased as Seven, so go check out Enter Zen for info.

Zen
Released: 1996 (CS)
Garden Grove, CA
Recorded at: Majestic Music Services, Inc.
Engineered by: Mark King
Produced by: Mark King & Zen
Executive Producer: Edward A Buras

Personnel:

Song List:

  1. Shithole
  2. No Way Out - [34k/wav]
  3. Herb 'n' Swing
  4. Circle

I dig this tape a lot. The first two sound a lot like each other, but the different arrangements make it work. Kind of a slow groove hard rock. The third tune is a white-boy R&B swing thing. The last is a prog-rock instrumental.

Zen

StrangeWorld
Released: 2001 (CD)
Long Beach, CA

Personnel:

Song List:

  1. American Heritage
  2. If I Only Knew
  3. Neighborhood
  4. If You Are Afraid
  5. StrangeWorld
  6. Enter ZEN
  7. No Way Out

They've added a new vocalist/rapper and expanded the sound even further. Check their site out at Enter ZEN Dot Net.

The Soundtrack To 'American Heritage'
Released: 2002 (CD)
Long Beach, CA
Recorded at: Lil Rock Studios, The Zen Den
and The Rutigliano Compound Bar & Grill
Produced by: Pat Rideaux and Lyle Due

Personnel:

Song List:

  1. Miah's Reflection
  2. Neighborhood
  3. Drivin' (All Night Long)
  4. Witness
  5. Hell Below Zero
  6. Taxi
  7. Standing
  8. Questions... Deadly Strangers
  9. Three Nails
  10. Low
  11. Intermission (7:35 To Vietnam)

Kenny's been hounding me for the mere weeks I've had this to get a review written, and honestly, I can understand why. This band has developed into such a diverse mesh of brilliant performances that cross and criss-cross so many genre barriers as to render such terms pointless. This isn't metal-hip-hop, prog-rock, jazz-fusion, R & B-pop, psychadelic-funk.... This is Zen, and that's all you need to know.

While Drivin' may make your girlfriend swoon and croon along, Low will surely get your boyfriend into the pit. They go from the atmospheric, Pink Floyd-esque Hell Below Zero straight into the ZZ Top blues-swagger of Taxi. This CD represents the generally heavier end of the band's catalog, still leaving them plenty of other places to explore on soon-to-come future releases.

The whole album is the 'soundtrack' to an as-yet non-existent film based on a screenplay by Lyle called 'American Heritage', so between songs you get clips of police-scanner sound-effects and the first and last tracks are 'scenes' from the 'film.'

As for the production, the credits playfully acknowledge the low-tech, mostly live-to-4-track approach. But each instrument and vocal is clearly represented in the mix, with little to give away that this isn't a real studio album. Even the primarily mono mix only helps to accent the occasional intresenting uses of stereo. It's raw and live, not layered with effects and lush arrangements, which fits the songs admirably.

Clearly, it's been a while since I've written a review, so I don't know how to keep it concise, especially since this is so fresh in my mind. The writing and playing so greatly over shadow the sparse production, that I quiver in excitement at the prospect of hearing what these guys could do with a record deal and big studio budget. But you'll never see this type of talent on a big label. Some indie out there is going to be very happy when they get around to discovering and signing these guys. And then college radio will turn them into Gods.

Zen

Lonely Lover Girl Lonely Lover-Girl
Released: 2006 (CD)
Long Beach, CA
Recorded at: Mambo Studios, Long Beach, CA
Engineered by: Wade Wilkinson
Produced by: Wade Wilkinson and Zen
Mastered by: Brandon "Bro" Hinsey

Personnel:

Song List:

  1. The World Around You
  2. Questions
  3. Lonely Lover-Girl
  4. Silhouette

With Dizko long out of the picture and the Sarah GreeN. side project having fallen apart (to put it nicely), they're back in full swing with a new vocalist and second guitarist. Go to EnterZEN or MySpace.

[The Demo Barn]