Toronto-based indie pop-rockers Zeus came crashing into the music scene in 2010 with their studio debut Say Us, an album that drew in thousands of fans, and several nominations for the Polaris Music Prize. Now Zeus have made it clear they are riding the waves of their success with their strong second album, Busting Visions.
Their brand of rock is distinctly unique, energetic and attention grabbing. A blend of funk, rock, pop and indie, the Canadian four-piece are capable of producing extremely absorbing music, playing on their various strengths for each individual track.
Zeus have always worn their hearts on their sleeves when it comes to their influences, and Busting Visions makes it evident which musical heroes they are paying homage to. The album bounces backwards and forwards between The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Queen, whilst incorporating their own modern element, which drags the sound into the 21st century.
There are moments of genius throughout the record. Love / Pain, for example, includes a quite beautiful and surprising string element to the song and the transition between soul-filled Hello Tender Love and Beatles-esque Messenger’s Way is almost enough to make the album worth buying on it’s own. Opening track Are You Gonna Waste My Time? is a straight rock track packed with group harmonies and classic riffs which makes for a memorable radio-worthy single.
What Zeus are particularly good at is building emotion throughout not just the album, but each song. Hello Tender Love and Strong Mind are prime examples, both tracks simmer gently through the verses, reaching optimum intensity in the last 30 seconds with emotional harmonies and killer guitar leads.
Aside from two or three pretty but largely forgettable tracks (Bright Brown Opus, Proud and Beautiful, for example), Zeus has managed to create a very listenable, fun, interesting and absorbing record. If they were to cut a few of the weaker tracks and produce a slightly shorter, denser album, filled with tracks like Hello Tender Love, this band have the potential to be the next huge Canadian rock export.