The latest full-length release by RT-Zed arrived at our headquarters last week, and now is more than an appropriate time to write some words about it. For those stumbling upon this excellent band for the first time, RT-Zed is a British punk rock band led by Steve Grantley, a longtime drummer for Stiff Little Fingers. Besides drumming for Stiff Little Fingers, Grantley collaborated with Billy Duffy (The Cult), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Kirk Brandon (Theatre of Hate/Spear of Destiny), Craig Adams (The Mission, Sisters Of Mercy), Julian Lennon and soul singer Oleta Adams. At the beginning of his career, he almost landed the drumming position at The Clash once they fired Topper Headon. However, he stepped away from the drums for RT-Zed and took the role of guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer. So far, RT-Zed has released albums such as Return To Zero, Zed Hed, Funk Punk, and Zednation, the album I will be talking about today.
Zednation consists of twelve excellent songs that prove Grantley is not only a good drummer but an extraordinary songwriter. This material carries everything you love about rock’n’roll, but as is usually the case, there’s more than meets the eye. This album is built upon brilliant lyricism, powerful riffs, ear-appealing chord progressions, warm-sounding basslines, and moderate rhythmic sequences. Perhaps RT-Zed dominantly leans towards the fundamentals of rock’n’roll, but many other music genres are lurking around from scratch to finish. You’ll stumble upon some of the best properties of classic punk rock, the eighties punk rock, post-punk, hard rock, and heavy metal. However, these elements are not spoiling the primary sonic direction of Zednation. Quite the contrary, each one of these ingredients enhances the rock’n’roll foundations of these compositions.
Steve Grantley thought about everything while writing, composing, recording, and producing this material. You’ll hear how each strumming over the strings, melody, harmony, theme, chord progression, riff, and other sonic delicacies are vividly hearable in the mix. Each number carries so many good moments, and it’s impossible to grasp them all in one listening. He also thought about bass guitar, so you’ll hear all those cleverly assembled basslines with such ease. The bass guitar simultaneously provides the heaviness to the remainder of the instrumentations, but it also serves as a binder between guitars and the rhythm section. Of course, nothing would sound so powerful without flawlessly performed moderate beats, various accentuations, and hectic drum fills. Steve Grantley’s voice is the star of this show. He easily transits from high-pitched to low notes and vice versa. Each instrument shines bright in the mix, and there’s no way you’ll have a problem hearing any of these orchestrations. Maybe this is primarily a modern rock’n’roll album, but this release will, without any doubt, satisfy even the pickiest fans of punk rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. Zednation drops on October 21st, and you can pre-order this gem on vinyl directly from the band. Head to their official website for more information about ordering.