Zeus's Busting Visions makes detour to the '70s

By Chris Yee
[senior culture writer]

3.75/5 records

As might be expected from a group that covers Genesis on their first ever release (the 2009 EP Sounds Like Zeus), classic rock leanings are apparent from the start of Toronto band Zeus’s latest album, Busting Visions.

Busting Visions opens with a set of ’70s period pieces: “Are You Gonna’ Waste My Time”, “Love/Pain” and “Anything You Want Dear”, some or all of which may (or may not) be a useful primer on distinguishing between The Guess Who and The Who.

Zeus then takes a more contemporary approach on the next two tracks, “Let it Go, Let it Go” and “Strong Mind,” with mixed results, while the slinky “Let it Go, Let it Go” is bracingly direct, “Strong Mind” meanders too much. Zeus ending up sounding like a second-rate copy of themselves (as Jason Collett’s backing band, which they started out as before striking out on their own as Zeus in 2008).

Fortunately, Busting Visions rediscovers its sense of purpose when the two-track suite “Bright Brown Opus/Love in a Game” rolls along, builds some momentum and carries the remaining half of the album on its Meat Loaf-sized shoulders. “With Eyes Closed” returns to the 70s, sounding a lot like the Eagles, while “Hello Tender Love” and “Messenger’s Way” sound a bit like Crazy Horse circa

Tonight’s the Night, but on anti-depressants.

Incidentally, with a bit of tweaking, “Messenger’s Way” would have made a nice transition to the last few tracks on Busting Visions. Unfortunately, the pretty but too-short “Proud and Beautiful” was wedged in instead and broke up the album’s continuity a bit too much.

Zeus recovers and makes one last rally after this metaphorical grinding of gears, though, and without hesitation switches to full-on glamminess for Busting Visions’ home stretch, from “Stop the Train” through to the album’s closer, “Now That I’ve Got You”.

In conclusion, Zeus’s Busting Visions seems to take a while to find itself, taking a few wrong turns on the way to settling down and doing its job; one can only hope that these are just steps on the way to something even better from these guys.

 

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