Zen Guerilla Trance States in Tongues

Marcus Durant is the greatest living vocalist in rock and roll. His band, Zen Guerilla, revolves around his tonsils and his foot-high afro. There's nothing quite like the sight and sound of a lovely, self-assured, charismatic man with a big beautiful voice who's not afraid to use it properly. Trance States... combines the best of Jon Spencer's panicked energy, Little Richard's yelping and whooping, Elvis's "thank you very much" and Soundgarden's moody dissonance. Unfortunately, the band's adrenaline and kooky charisma sounds somewhat disjointed on disc. If you like 'em, you'll like 'em from start to finish, but the nuances just don't come across on record. You can kind of feel the fun on tracks like "Peppermint," "Mod Riot" and "Pins and Needles," but you can't see Durant playing with his theremin, or the hysterical expression on his face as he's fiddling with his harmonica. Zen virgins might be frustrated or a bit confused until the last four tracks come around, all of which perfectly showcase the range and depth that is Zen Guerilla. A very satisfying disc that will shake you up, but I recommend shuffling "Moonage Daydream" to play first. Like I said, the greatest living vocalist in rock and roll. (Sub Pop)