The Rezillos – Zero
The new Rezillos album means business. No pension-fund collection of recycled hits. The album starts with the aggressive “Groovy Room”, demonstrating that they retain the unapologetic angry edge of punk’s early days. The next two tracks aptly demonstrate the broader range of their style: the more rhythmic, rock-tinged “Number One Boy” hearkens to their rock ’n’ roll roots, while “Life’s a Bitch” veers toward the metal-rock end of the spectrum. These aren’t bad, but thankfully much of the remaining album hovers around that raw, punk-inflected creative anger: Fay Fife’s half-spoken, half-shouted vocals on “Tiny Boy” are put to a smoldering ambient punk rock background; “Spike Heel Assassin” offers a blaze of fast-paced, heavy bass aggression. Fife’s unique Scottish-accented vocals remain one of the band’s alluring qualities. She got her start with the band as a backing vocalist, but quickly became lead singer (a role shared with Eugene Reynolds) and her powerful vocals—equally effective when spoken or shouted—are one of the most compelling things about the band.