Spring 2014

by Zen Dozer Records

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about

The Spring 2014 Sampler from Chicago’s Zen Dozer Records begins, fittingly, with a series of seemingly discordant noises coalescing into a driving beat, which then builds, adding layers of synth, guitar, and vocals until the song takes off with its arena-ready chorus. This, Ruffin’s “Middle Of,” is what Zen Dozer is all about.

Each of the eleven songs in this compilation features a group or artist fusing varied sounds and influences into something contemporary and interesting, demonstrating the impressively simultaneous diversity and unity of Zen Dozer’s lineup. On two tracks, Ruffin adds layer upon layer to a pulsing synth beat, soaring with guitars on “Middle Of” and taking a slightly darker turn on “Arrogance.” Catcher James contributes two tracks, the blues-guitar driven ode to lust that is “Hannah” and the album’s closer, “The Difference,” which leads with a haunting slide guitar before rising on a melancholy chorus. Between “Middle Of” and “The Difference,” Zen Dozer gives us a little bit of everything without ever letting us get too comfortable. Orion’s “WKRP” begins as a folksy, acoustic elegy but adds a snarling bite before leaving the listener with elegant vocal harmonies; and Number Nine’s “Christine” and “Violet” are well matched with Mom, Dad, It’s Evil’s “Encyclopedia Brown.” All three tracks bounce along on catchy guitar riffs, offering sunny vocals and sing-along choruses. Where Fight Nice blends a college-radio sound with the concussive percussion and guitar of the best of early-90s alternative rock on “Caught Near the End” and “Latest Report,” Bounte contributes “New Life,” a melding of techno and prog-rock that propelled by a series of unexpected sounds brought together by the return to an increasingly pleading chorus.

What Zen Dozer presents with this sampler is a roster of artists who have cast aside easy labels. Here, we see examples of work from musicians who focus on crafting songs that build upon themselves using a variety of elements—the unexpected blues riff or the gentle coo morphing into a snarl before falling back into a cushion of vocal harmony. What Zen Dozer has given us, ultimately, is a compilation to which we can nod our head, tap our foot, and sing along—a compilation we will want to listen to over and over again.

credits

released March 14, 2014

www.zendozer.net
Dean Dunakin
Alan Ruffin
Brian Lerch
Colby Cuppernull
Josh Lauby
Pete Ellis
Steve Mendoza
Tim Wanish

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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Zen Dozer Chicago, Illinois

Music with grit, emotion, and intellect, crafted in Chicago… as hard, beautiful and seasonally fluid as our city.

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Track Name: Catcher James - Hannah
Hannah baby struts through the room
Hannah baby she’s a six foot two

She thinks she’s god’s gift to every man
She might be right but I got me a plan
Hannah I ain’t fixin’ to buy your beer
But I’m gonna let you sit right here

Girl I go weak for big brown eyes
And a lazy drawl’ll get me every time
She’s got platinum hair and Monroe curves
I lost it all before she said a word

Hannah take me
Hannah break me
I’ll be okay
I just want a little taste


Hannah baby took me to her bed
Hannah baby left me for dead

Well now she’s got me wound up tight
Got me sitting at the bar every night
Hannah I ain’t trying to be nobody’s groom
But I got to get one more night with you
Track Name: Bounte - New Life
each breath I take
is another turn on an endless roundabout
each hole in my heart
just drains the love from all I had to give
each month I shine
another light goes dark inside me
I’m holding back this brittle night
I’m holding out for the perfect day

I want a new life... I want to reach that blue horizon
I want a new life... but I never seem to find it
I want a new life... I want to reach that new horizon
I want a new life... so I can give all my dreams to you

I sent my dreams away
to the land they promised me if I just believe
no path to chase
though I always try to find it anyway
each step I take
pursuits turn into painful memories
I’m counting off the time I lost
just take it from that perfect day

I want a new life... I want to reach that new horizon
I want a new life... but I never seem to find it
I want a new life... I want to reach that new horizon
I want a new life... so I can give all my dreams to you

each month that I live there’s new life to give
each month that goes by, more nothing survives
Track Name: Catcher James - The Difference
I could tell you I'm sorry
But I can't tell you why
I got a head full of reasons I suppose I could sell
But every excuse is just a lie that we tell ourselves

I could tell you I’m different
But I don’t feel that way
I got a heart full of intentions I repeat with each breath
But even the best of intentions dies a real quick death

I swore to myself I'd never let you down
Swore up and down I could figure it out
I swore to myself I'd never be like him
But here I am, here I am
I can't tell the difference

I keep trying to change
Keep saying I'll start today
got these lines around my eyes, one for every mistake
Oh destiny means nothing 'til you're caught in its wake

I swore to myself I'd never let you down
Swore up and down I could figure it out
I swore to myself I'd never be like him
But here I am, here I am
I can't tell the difference