Hey! Hey! Hey!
In a deep, dark basement somewhere on a cracked back road in Smalltown, Massachusetts, a group of gentlemen known as Carry the Zero are concocting plans for world-music domination. How are they going to achieve it? Through talent, plain and simple...talent that's obvious in each notated expression that crosses your brainwaves, talent that I recently got a chance to sit back and savor and a CTZ rehearsal session. Bottles of fine Bordeaux for some. Cases of Bud diesel for others. Carry the Zero for you and me. The trio's energetic, crowd-pleasing stage show is of a caliber one would expect to see from established performances in any international city. In other words: CTZ is tight as tight can be, as is evident on 'Hey, Hey,' the first track off the freshly-minted Pulse-exclusive demo (one of the perks) that CTZ forked over. The song launches with a build-up that would rival the looming, overcast skies of any classic Nor'easter. Then, as if finely sharpened with a Bowie knife, wrenching guitar and keys tear through thundering floor toms, brandishing a sharp sword of savage 'danceability.' The infectious verse gives way to clear pre-chorus skies and the inevitable killer chorus. Screeching blues chords, catchy hooks, pinpoint accuracy and excellent song-writing define this artistic presentation, which leaves even the most critical ear saying, 'Damn, that was freakin' sweet!' Another nugget of CTZ sound is the wonderful collaboration dubbed 'Start A Fire', which blends the melody and rhythm of Edmund Paquette's keys/bass, Bill Gaudette's floorboard- loosening percussion, and the rock-star vocals and stringed thrashings of lead man Matt Erhatic. Few area bands can match the intensity and accuracy that CTZ achieves in every note, none of which are ever wasted. The band seems to take into consideration that today's human has a much shorter attention span that did past generations, and they accommodate with not-too-lengthy but always-distinctly-different-than-the last songs. Says lead man Matt Erhatic, 'There really isn't any pretentious bulls*t, [just] three friends on stage giving it their all, knockin' back a brew or two. No costumes, no theatrics... just pure, sweaty, honest rock n' roll... -Mike Malone, Pulse Magazine.