Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., May 12, 2006
Yellow Rainbow (Business Deal)
If a cadre of savage geeks had commandeered a Brook Mays Organ store at the mall in 1981, the resulting disturbance might have resembled the Zom Zoms' third album in both tone and attitude. With synthetic rhythms oscillating at full speed, the Twister-mat-patterned, sleeveless-shirt-wearing local quartet injects as much ferocity into primitive synth-punk as their vintage mechanism will bear. From start to finish, Yellow Rainbow is a breakneck fusillade of aural grist for the inner spaz. While Devo is an obvious touchstone, the Zom Zoms' speedy emulation focuses on the raw Sturm und Drang of the scalped pioneers' earliest Rust Belt demos. "Caught on Tape" dances as fast as it can against panoptic dystopia, while the title track gets busy disemboweling the culture of tanning booths. "Race of Zom Zoms" kicks off with the poetic exhortation, "Replace my feet with 30 rubber wheels while folding the map with the jealous part of your mind," which might as well be a manifesto for the group's synapse-confounding New Wave traffic jam. Such quasi-lionization stands in stark contrast to the album-closing pizza-delivery-driver ode "Pizzarama Universe," an occupation seldom covered in song but undoubtedly familiar to musicians. Yellow Rainbow may be a discombobulating ride, but healthy minds need a good shaking every now and then.