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Dweezil Zappa
Return Of The Son Of... (earMUSIC)

Dweezil Zappa His old man may have gifted him with one of the most ludicrous names this side of Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence, but he also passed on one of the finest sets of musical genes you could lay claim to, and anyone who thinks Dweezil is simply trading on dad Franks name just needs to lend a shell-like to the extended guitar solo in ‘Pygmy Twylyte’ to hear that Zappa Jr. has a fine set of his own chops, and the band he has assembled do some serious justice to convoluted classics like ‘Inca Roads’ and ‘King Kong’. As FZ’s no longer with us who else is going to keep this magnificent music alive?
Ray Harper

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Zomby
Dedication (4AD)

ZombyChances are that if you have heard of the highly elusive Zomby it will have been through his previous outing Where Were U In '92 which, whilst a being whole jamboree bag full raved up nutter fun, probably won’t prepare you for this at all as this is an altogether more thoughtful and grown up effort. What does remain however is his love of dragging the listener into a song only to drop ‘em as soon as the song has sunk it’s hooks in (three tracks are sub one minute efforts), which suggests our Zomby is a playful chap. If you want a kicking off point imagine Autechre dabbling with dubstep, only not.
Drew Bass

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Warren Zevon
The Envoy (Asylum/Rhino)

Warren ZevonPart of a remastered trio that also includes live set Stand In the Fire and commercial peak Excitable Boy, The Envoy has – perhaps inevitably given that it has never previously appeared on CD – been an oft-neglected item in the WZ catalogue. In fact, it’s pretty much grade-A Zevon throughout, from the bracing rock-blast of the opening title track – whose portrait of shuttle diplomacy amid chaos in the Middle East could hardly be more resonant right now – to the churning downfall-of-a-dealer chronicle, ‘Charlie’s Medicine’. A commercial non-starter in ‘82, The Envoy should now be regarded as one of Zevon’s strongest collections.

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The Zutons
Tired Of Hanging Around (Deltasonic)

The Zutons Second album from Liverpudlian five-piece The Zutons - the follow-up to 2004's double platinum-selling and Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut Who Killed The Zutons, this time around with Stephen Street (of Blur, Kaiser Chiefs and The Smiths fame) in the producers chair, and fans will be relieved to find pretty much more of the same, only this time around the whole shebang is more streamlined. Street has obviously helped focus the band giving vocalist David McCabe’s mordant mini soap operas buoyant support and adding a large helpful dose of summery pop sparkle to the bands avowedly retro ‘70s proggy-rock sound.


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Warren Zevon
Romantic Genius: The Love Songs (Rykodisc)

Warren ZevonThe Love Songs is such an unlikely title for a collection of work by the legendarily barbed Zevon that you half-suspect the very suggestion of it laid down the gauntlet for the compilers. And sure enough, the witty, world-weary sighs of ‘Hostage-O’ and ‘I’ll Slow You Down’ would be very unlikely choices for the standard slushy moon-in-june Valentine’s Day mix-tape. But Zevon was capable of much more than a biting putdown, and ‘El Amor De Mi Vida’ and ‘Keep Me In Your Heart’ – both of which were recorded when he knew that he was suffering from terminal cancer – are sincere, haunting expressions of affection.


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Frank Zappa
Quaudiophiliac [DVD-A] (Barking Pumpkin Records)

Frank Zappa Compiled by son Dweezil after discovering a dusty old box whilst rooting around at Zappa’s Utility Muffin Research Kitchen studio. The box, including rudimentary drawings which were later deciphered as instructions for playing the contents in ‘surround sound’, turned out to be a four channel mix of Chunga’s Revenge (and bear in mind this tape dates back to Januray 3rd 1970). Excited, Zappa junior dug out several more of these multi channel recordings (several never heard before) and set about giving them a spanking new DTS 5.1 airing. The results are fascinating but in truth probably only for hardcore Zappaphiliac’s.

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