Zombi | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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A synth-driven instrumental duo, Zombi make somewhat strange bedfellows with most of Relapse Records' roster--home to Mastodon and High on Fire and death-grind acts like Necrophagist and Skinless. But the match makes sense in light of their obsession with classic horror films of the 70s and 80s and those films' pulsing, nightmarish electronic sound tracks. Taking their cues from John Carpenter's Halloween scores and the collaborations between Dario Argento and the band Goblin (and their name from Argento's Italian revision of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead), they manage to sound both heavy and atmospheric on the new Surface to Air. The 18-minute closer, "Night Rhythms," best captures the icy dread of pulp cinema's golden era; tracks like "Challenger Deep" and "Legacy," with their twangy bass and precise odd-metered drumming, sound more like Rush in a pensive mood. In what must be a dream come true, Zombi has started to write and record sound tracks for indie horror films--including the new direct-to-DVD slasher Home Sick, which features a bow-tied maniac called Mr. Suitcase whose luggage is full of razor blades. Guapo headlines, Zombi plays second, and Del Rey opens. Fri 6/30, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

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