Zac and The New Men – Reinvent Me
Release Date: 19/05/23
Running Time: 34:05
Review by Paul Hutchings
Whisper it quietly or shout it from the rooftops – this is a band who could be huge. I’ve seen the Swansea outfit developing for a couple of years now, honing their live performances in a controlled and measured way. They are starting to build the head of steam in a similar way to a band that they have supported – Mother Vulture. Now it’s time for the debut album “Reinvent Me” and while the band are best experienced in the live setting, this is the cherry on the cake.
Musically, there are numerous influences and styles in the mix. There’s a pleasingly retro feel to their sound, with a James Dye’s fuzzy bass adding heft to the music. The riff is strong, yet not overpowering while Will Newman’s drumming is solid, doing the job without being over flashy. And then we get to Zac’s vocal delivery, which is unique, despite the multiple flavours you can taste. I’ve seen everything from Matt Bellamy, Jeff Buckley to Jay Buchanan mentioned. There’s certainly evidence of those singers in the mix, but Zac brings his own personality and style.
As much as it’s the singing that takes the accolades, it’s the overall compositions that make this band so exciting. Opening song ‘Say It’ is in the right place, opening the door to the album before you hit the bouncing emotions of ‘Deeper’, which benefits from some subtly layered synths. More vibrance on the pulsing ‘Atom Bomb’ which has the gang vocal chorus, and a suitably psychedelic feel before the band drop it down a notch with the delicately crafted title track.
Variation is often key to a good record and that’s what we get on the next track ‘Watching the World Go By’. At times it’s almost pop in feel, combined with an alternative rock impression that runs deep. There’s no definitive genre, no box that the band can be put in. Instead, you need to just appreciate the quality that is on display. Deep, emotionally charged, that’s ‘Embers’, which would be incredible with an orchestral backing, but is stunning with the piano additions. There’s subtle guitar work throughout the album, delicate flicks that may not be apparent immediately, but search and listen and you’ll find it. It’s apparent again on ‘That’s Ok’, which sees Zac bring a superb performance.
Into the final three songs and there is no break in the quality. Band’s sometimes fill the tail end but not Zac and the New Men. They ramp it back up with more aggressive guitar on ‘Social Blur’, a demonstration that the band are focused and aware of the world around them. ‘Birdcage’ is one of their best songs and it rocks. Elements of Rival Sons and Royal Blood are evident, but as I’ve said before, it all has the band’s own stamp on it. The album closes with ‘The Lesson’. It’s another riff heavy track, and it bookends with ‘Say It’ neatly.
In a year of astonishingly good music, “Reinvent Me” may be one of the most mature pieces of work I have heard. It is a fine debut from a band who have a huge career in front of them.
‘That’s Ok’ Official Video
01. Say It
03. Atom Bomb
04. Reinvent Me
05. Watching the World Go By
07. That’s Ok
08. Social Blur
10. The Lesson
Zac Davies – Vocals, Guitar
Oli Poole – Guitar
James Dye – Bass
Will Newman – Drums
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