This is that lame-ass poseur that changed his name TO Dartaniel


Zeus - Say Us

Zeus is primarily the project of Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson, who first met in 1996 and have been making music together in one way or another ever since. Say Us is the latest chance for the duo, who are known to some as the Zeus Twins, to showcase their songwriting. The quartet is rounded out by Neil Quinn and Rob Drake, the latter having played with Carlin in the studio and touring backing band for Jason Collett, the Toronto songwriter who, like many Arts & Crafts labelmates, gained acclaim from his involvement with Broken Social Scene. For fans of Collett, there are plenty of similarities to be heard between Collett's upstrokes and Zeus's.

Although the vocals are split between three songwriters in Zeus, the varying degrees of mega/tele-phone treatment to the vocals gives a cohesive sense to the album. I haven't yet sorted out which songs are sung by whom, although there are certainly some subtle textural differences to be heard throughout. There are strong elements of classic British and American rock. On the songs "Kindergarten" and "The Renegade", you can hear hints of a McCartney-style honky-tonk. Most of the album slides by like a rolling, hedge-lined country road, interrupted by the periodic wobbly swinging of a saloon door. The only vaguely progressive moments on this album come during the beautiful opening track, "How Does It Feel?", which wouldn't sound out of place on a Field Music album. Although that song's multiple meters don't reprise during the rest of Say Us, it sets the guidelines for the emotional range of the remaing tracks. They are mostly upbeat songs that sometimes spend a little time meandering in a sweet spot until it ferments into a more sentimental and melancholy mood. All told, the 37 minutes of Say Us passes by quickly and leaves me seeking more material by the Zeus Twins.