Zs (New Slaves)

Zs (New Slaves)
Guitarist Amnon Friedlin joins experimental Brooklyn, NY trio Zs on their first LP for the Social Registry, not that the average ear could easily discern any sounds typically associated with the instruments on New Slaves. Over the course of eight tracks, the foursome bend, warp and whip the sounds of their instruments into a hypnotic machine orgy. Opener "Concert Black" is a gentle flirtation ― ambient guitar harmonics drift over whirling loops of electronics and faint, muted jackhammer percussion. "Acres of Skin" is what it would sound like if a tribe of garage equipment did a spirit dance around a smelter. "Gentleman Amateur" borders on grating annoyance, with subtle variations on what sounds like a blender set to liquefy your eardrums. The experiment broadens over the next two tracks, creating much-needed space with a trip into more distinct rhythmic patterns and swirling ambience. This brief reprieve is necessary to get through the repetitive bludgeoning and screeching of the 20-minute-plus title track. At least after giving listeners a sonic hangover, Zs have the good grace to provide the cure with the sparse ambience of two-part closer "Black Crown Ceremony." (The Social Registry)