WE ARE ZAN CLAN…WHO THE F**K ARE YOU??!
Released 2005 (Perris)
01. Go Go Go
02. Heart N Soul
03. High Speed Junkie
04. So Damn Good
05. Mess Ya Up
06. Silver Bullet Toy
07. Heart Died Young
08. Deja Vu
10. Can’t Get U Out
12. Surrender (bonus track)
Zinny Zan – vocals
Chris Laney – guitar and backing vocals
Pontus Norgren – guitar and backing vocals
Eggy Egberg – bass and backing vocals
Johan Koleberg – drums
Produced by Chris Laney.
It ain’t easy being sleazy… It can’t be, so few have the guts to attempt it these days! But Zan Clan certainly does.
Former Shotgun Messiah vocalist Zinny Zan is back in action with a new crew. I missed out on Shotgun Messiah when they hit it big in the 90’s but I certainly am not missing out on Zan Clan. The band’s debut album asks, Who The F**k Are You??!” Well, allow me to tell you who the f**k Zan Clan is.
Zan Clan is a metal band in 2005/2006 that is not afraid to actually release music they like performing and metal heads might like listening to. A lot of bands that came from the sleaze rock genre have adopted a more “cool” style these past few years trying to almost sound like some of the more current artists on the charts… Zan Clan says “f**k that” and goes back to what we all want from the great established artists and wish more new bands had the guts to put forth. This album is full of sleaze. I love it!
The album kicks off with “Go Go Go”, a fast rocker that sets the tone of the record. I read somewhere that Zan Clan is “Def Leppard if Def Leppard still had balls.” That is true in this track for sure. But, I also hear a little Skid Row influence in this track as well as the next one.
“Heart N Soul” is the next track and damn does it rock. There is a section in the song where Zan screams “SHOUT” and the backing vocals scream “HEY!” in a call and response style. It is a tool rarely used these days and reminds me so much of classic Skid Row. Zan may actually have pipes to compete with Mr. Bach as well… That, my friends, is saying something.
Next up is “High Speed Junkie”. This song is considered one of the best sleaze songs of 2005 and I’d have to agree. While I like the first two tracks just a tiny bit more, this one certainly delivers the goods with occasionally high pitched vocals but a great backing vocal style that is loud and true, a fast paced rocker with a cool guitar solo.
“So Damn Good” is a bit of a slower and softer song at times. I think the thing to note on this track is how much Zan sounds like Gene Simmons at times… Am I the only one who thinks this?
“Mess Ya Up” could easily pass as a very good Alice Cooper song. I can just hear Alice singing this track… Very cool song.
“Silver Bullet Toy” has a different feel to it. It almost feels like Green Day if Green Day didn’t suck. Slightly punky but not new punk which isn’t even punk… Not a bad song at all. I could see this song making it to some movie soundtracks if it was shopped around though. It would fit nicely.
“Heart Died Young” has a haunting chorus and a freaking cool guitar solo. This is one of my favorites off the disc. I love when Zan reaches for the high notes. Something about his high vocals just pumps me up!
“Deja Vu”, “Jinxed”, and “Can’t Get U Out” are sleazy cuts with fantastic vocals and solos and haunting melodies… Hell, ALL the songs on this disc are that way… That must be why I love it so. But, something extra to note on “Deja Vu”, Zan actually calls attention to the title of the album in a short verse after the solo screaming WE ARE ZAN CLAN, WHO THE F**K ARE YOU??! Oddly, it completely fits the song and actually makes it more enjoyable.
Next up is “Outro”. The Beatles once put a weird finish at the end of a record, I forget which one, because they knew they had accomplished something special. I think this almost goes along those same lines. While it won’t be remembered in history as fondly, this record did really make me realize sleaze rock can exist in the new millennium. I’m tempted to send a few copies of this CD out to the bands that are established in this and say, “See, they aren’t trying to sound new!”
A bonus track, likely just because the album would’ve been slightly too short without it, is a cover of Cheap Trick‘s “Surrender”. They do a punky version of the song mixed with sleazy screams. I like it a lot!
I usually say pick it up if you want to hear something cool. This time, I DEMAND you pick it up because you WILL hear something cool and everybody that goes to this site WILL appreciate it. Fan-freaking-tastic record. I hope they come to the states on a tour. I’ll be there and I’ll buy a bunch of swag too. zanclan.com.
Former Shotgun Messiah frontman Zinny Zan has returned with the Zan Clan and an album full of heavy, sleazy grooves mixed with pop sensibilities and an abundance of melody. I haven’t heard a release this catchy since Transit‘s Dirty Pleasures way back in 1989, every harmony and melody is strategically placed here and it makes for one killer party-rock album.
I must admit I am surprised at how much some of these songs sound like the Shotgun Messiah I know, because I never got into that band until Second Coming, and Zinny had long departed by then. Zinny Zan can go from a laid-back Roxx Gang approach to an Odin like scream in seconds, and many of the backup vocals have that huge Def Leppard sound. It’s hard to single out tracks on We Are Zan Clan because almost every song is top-notch, but some of the highlights include the Def Leppard flavored “Go Go Go” and “Deja Vu” as well as the mysterious “So Damn Good”, the hard driving “Mess Ya Up” and the shredding “Jinxed”.
“High Speed Junkie” is a tune that lives up to its name and could easily be in the running for song of the year. It is a hyper speed rocker with an over-the-top chorus and screaming licks provided by the talented Chris Laney. The chorus also has the best stutter since BTO‘s “Takin’ Care Of Business” revving up towards a scream that sends shivers down your spine.
Zinny Zan knows what he does best, and unlike so many others hasn’t abandoned what got him noticed in the first place. There is nothing new or contemporary on We Are Zan Clan, it is just a perfect collection of flawless rockers that would have gone platinum some twenty years ago. I applaud Zinny for staying true to his roots, and with the help of some very talented musicians unleashing one killer album. Go to either zanclan.com or www.chrislaney.com for more information on what is another must own CD.