It’s easy to fall under the spell of opener “Top Shelf” whose irresistible, insistent riffs betray the ensemble’s old-school blues-based rock, slider rolling across the fretboard and refrain infecting the listener with a wish to join the party, yet, despite the six-string filigree, the sneer and simple beat which fill the funky “Toxic Love” reveal the group’s fascination with post-punk, and not for nothing they used to frequent the “CBGB” stage. But if the swaggering “Rock Now” and the moderately heavy “Trappin’ Me In” have the “in your face” quality, “Like The Rain” is very much rootsy – its jangle and vocal harmonies wouldn’t feel out of place and time in the ’60s – the funereal ballad “Come Back Lover” should fathom the depth of the band’s emotional crunch.

Unfortunately, all these strands coming together in “Shock Wave” fail to produce a memorable performance, whereas the saving grace of the equally groovy “Love So Large” is, again, rock ‘n’ roll licks that somehow undermine the piece’s anthemic message only to take “Best Friend” beyond the pale; and when there’s a need for reflection, it’s best to make it as frantic as “Get Inside Yourself” is – dipped in Delta, albeit looking contemporary. Ostensibly, the group didn’t stop, another album is long overdue; until the record is delivered, “The Zippers” are here for all to catch up. 4 / 5 Stars (April 2018)

Reissue of the debut album from The Zippers that was originally released on the MCA label in 1990…This is the first time we’ve heard this music. Based on the first track (“Top Shelf”) we can see why these guys might’ve been lumped into the hair/metal category. But some of the other tracks are very surprising, falling squarely into power pop terrain. Callahan wrote the majority of the songs, and it’s interesting how much variety you’ll hear on these ten tracks. Produced by Freddie Salem, these recordings have stood the test of time very well. It would certainly seem appropriate if this reissue yielded a surprise hit single so many years after the fact, because this is one of those cool treasures that just somehow got lost in the shuffle over the years. Cool guitar-driven pop/rock tracks include “Toxic Love,” “Like The Rain” (our favorite), “Love So Large,” and “Get Inside Yourself.”

babysue (March 2018)

The fare on offer ranges from the J. Geils Band’s Centerfold-like stylings of “Top Shelf” through The Cars-style power pop of “Like The Rain” to “Come Back Lover”, a dead ringer for the Stone’s Angie…worth filing alongside Petty and Mellencamp if US power pop is your bag.

Record Collector (March 2018)

I can’t tell you that The Zippers’ self titled effort is an all time classic, but it’s certainly far too good to have been ignored for 28 years. If you like honest, no frills hard rock without the metal pretensions – but which also doesn’t take itself too seriously – then this band and album may well be something of a find.

Sea Of Tranquility (March 2018)


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