REVIEWS OF DAS REBOOT - 2013                                                            

Amazon Buyers:
"A deeper, darker side of Tang" Five Stars!
The Tang gang has definitely delivered something to compete with Feed Our Heads--which set a very high bar on it's own. I'm very impressed with the musicianship and vocals (again), along with a different side to their song writing. My new favorite.

"Das Tang Das Fantastico" Five Stars!
This New Release by Zip Tang will probably yet again go Un-Noticed by the mainstream BUT If You are aware of who they are You Must add this Latest Creation to your collection. It continues to show how Great Musicians can still create Great Music & virtually get NO Air Time. But that doesn't matter if you're reading this & if you are then Stop & go Purchase this Latest from Zip Tang. Just take a listen & you'll have to have it. Zip Tang is Creating their own Tower of Tuna . . . but Musically

CD Baby Buyer:
Five Stars! - A tasty blend of rock, prog, hard, jazz, melodic and always humorous to listen without moderation. The creativity of the 70 modern sauce! Just another perfect record! This band is simply amazing!

"Das Reboot is a melting pot. Stunning!"

"Possibly my favorite of the four" Dutch Progressive Rock Page

REVIEWS OF FEED OUR HEADS - 2010                                                   

"Original, fresh and downright entertaining approach to modern progressive music"  Dutch Progressive Rock Page

"I Really Love This Album"   Gibraltar Encyclopedia Of Progressive Rock

"Inspiration Beyond Measure"
by Suze Merlin - Progressive Area, France

"Zip Tang Has Evolved Into A Great Band!" - RockTimes, Germany

"Original, Fresh and Worth Listening To"   (loosely translated from German)
Babyblaue-Seiten - The German Prog Encyclopedia  (original German text)

Just For Kicks Music
- Germany
(loosely translated from German)
With their third album the Chicago based band is back big time. They've created a grooving mix out of Jazz Rock, Art-Rock, Retro-Rock and Jam-Rock, a beautiful Cocktail which is tasting just great.

Musically they are not as weird as Frogg Café, not so over the edge as Umphrey’s McGee, but they lurked over the shoulder of a Steven Wilson just a bit and all in all, that balance makes it a special album.

“Feed Our Heads” is purest Progressive Rock in a modern context – that’s the way it is supposed to be!

REVIEWS OF PANK - 2008                                                                                                

links with an * open a new window via Google translator - Kev Rowland
Five Stars!
Progressive Rock Brazil
highly recommended
Progressive Archives
Four Stars!
Merlin Prog - Norway
fresh, original and essential

Music In Belgium *
Four Stars!

Dutch Progressive Rock Page *Just Plain Folks
8 out of 10 * Germany
12 out of 15
Rock Times * Germany
Outrageously good
Ragazzi E-zine * Germany
"illustrious sounds"
Muzik Zirkus *
"Pank is a great album"

Babyblaue Prog-Reviews *
2 reviews
Progressive Area * France
"A nice phenomenon"
MLWZ Radio * Poland
"original approach to jazz rock"

Progressive Rock Brazil
The North American band  Zip Tang was founded in 2003 in Chicago, by Perry Merritt (guitar, vocals) and Richard Wolfe (bass, backing vocals). The line-up was completed with Fred Faller (drums) and Marcus Padgett (saxophones, keyboards, synthesizers and vocals). Under the name of "RPM", the band started out playing covers of "Steely Dan", "Santana", "The Allman Brothers", "Jeff Beck", and "Yes" - influences that are still present in their work. They changed the name for Zip Tang and released a debut album “Luminiferous Ether” (2007), which received excellent reviews from the specialized press (see under Reviews 2007). The second album - “Pank” (2008) - was nominated for the “Just Plain Folks 2009 Awards” (to happen in 29th August) in the categories of “Best Prog Rock Album” and “Best Prog Songs” (with “Footprints” and “Katy”). A righteous nomination, indeed, for “Pank” rises above the level of excellence. It represents a step farther in the evolution of this talented quartet that must be reckoned for their high-quality musicianship. Although this album seems more “jammed” than the first work, the band is by no means retreating, but refining their style and originality. The ever-changing rhythmic base is supported by drums that go from ethnical beats to Jazz and Experimental, and bass lines that may do strange mixtures of Heavy Metal, Jazz, Rock and Latino – remembering bands like "Frank Zappa", "King Crimson", "Traffic", "Steely Dan", "Yes", "Santana', "Return To Forever" and even "Primus". Guitars go from Jazz-Rock to Blues, including some heavier riffs, adding influences of "Cream", "Jeff Beck", "Allman Brothers", and "John Lee Hooker". Unusual passages of sax lead to inevitable comparisons with "Van der Graaf Generator", but genuine jazzy moods are also present in sophisticated passages, remembering the work of "Miles Davis" and even "Burt Bacharach". Different textures of keyboards cover the songs with a progressive air. Vocals by Marcus are mainly ironic, in the manner of "Zappa", or melancholic like "Pink Floyd". “Pank” brings 11 tracks. The sound of inverted guitars and ethnical beats in the introduction of the opening track - “Footprints” - is a sign that Zip Tang is still warming up and great things are yet to come. In fact, many Pink Floydian melancholic vocals, psychedelic instrumental sections, and jazzy saxophones will be heard on tracks like “It’s in my Head“ and “One Last Beautiful Motion“ - the later brings a fantastic guitar solo – hovering, nostalgic and beautiful. One of the nominated songs - “Katy“ - is one of the best tracks. It is built over a heavy and tense bass line, ending on long passages of jazz and blues. The creative talent of "Robert Fripp" and the musical irreverence of "Frank Zappa" are ever present, celebrated on tracks like “Leaving Nothing“ and “Cicada Jam“ – both stuffed with experimental sounds and percussion, bringing that mysterious feeling of entering an exotic jungle. Zappa‘s irreverence is still present on the craziness of “Deitrich Crashed my Enzo“ and “You Call This Art?“, the later is trespassed by Hard Rock riffs and Blues solos – influence of "Jeff Back". Differing a bit from the rest of the album, “The Years“ is a kind of ballad that joins the acoustic guitars of "Allman Brothers" with the sax of "Van der Graaf". The remaining songs, “Pank“ and “Goodbye“, bring back the seventies in that jazzy-funky-Latin fashion of "Steely Dan", "Santana", and "Return to Forever", featuring many improvisations of bass, guitars, drums and sax. Particularly on “Goodbye”, the closing sax solo sounds like a farewell melody. But please, Zip Tangers, don’t say goodbye – come back with a third! Zip Tang is highly recommended for lovers of Rock of the 70’s and fans of modern Progressive bands like "Flower Kings", "Neal Morse", "Spock’s Beard", "Black Bonzo", "Tiles" and so on… Band members of Zip Tang are: Fred Faller – Drums, Perry Merritt – Guitars, Vocals (tracks 9 and 10), Marcus Padgett – Saxophones, Keyboards, Synths, Vocals (tracks 1,2,3,4,6,8,11), Rick Wolf – Bass, Backing Vocals...    
(Comments by Marcelo Trotta)


Merlin Prog - Norway
With this work comes Zip Tang with a worthy sequel to the stunning debut album, "" Luminiferous Ether ". Again, eclectic prog from Chicago ensemble that is the entire 63.42 minutes, but that includes as much fresh, original and essential music that the hours go fast. How is the course like, that in good company feel that time is running fast by ste!. The key to this is perhaps the great diversity we experience, but also strong and intelligent songs do that to her that this hour will disappear so fast. The unpredictable element makes one never knows what's coming, and that alone can raise the music powerful as long as it is done with finesse and elegance. Like the two above-mentioned elements is certainly something Zip Tang mastered, and in addition, shows the increasingly up aha experiences even after many times through listening. Cover art and production is also at a level that matches the music, carried this product here. Disc opens with a song, "Footprints that is actually a thought-conventional, with a focus on traditional verse and chorus dogmatism. The event, however good, and with great backing vocals and a fine melody is a good start anyway, even if it sounds anything too much 80 the number of the song. The ability to mix past and present is also an ability that ZipTang contains very good, and sources of inspiration include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kevin Gilbert, Van der Graaf Geenrator, Faith No More, Steely Dan and Pocupine Tree. Most impressive is that when Marcus Padgett plays saxophone in an excellent manner, and that adds great tones to sound, and grow Irishmen mass bold mood. Mood is the NOK of the "It's In My Head", where the band's unique sound comes forth. Instrumental parts where the saxophone and guitar are reasonably playful and interact brilliantly supported by a bass with a pretty scary expression. Wild saksofonpilling introduces track three, "Katy" where the bass also ar a prominent role throughout the entire song. When guitarist Perry Merritt plays solos on "Katy" it happens to and with the jazz landscape visited. The vocals are consistently angry, and this really good song stops surprising NOK with blue tones. Our absolute favorite among the many strong tracks are NOK, "One Last Beautiful Motion". A fabulous trakte ring of Hammond organ, distinctive drumming and a saxophone playing is extremely well mean that we can easily put out. If we include raw guitar playing and singing counterpoint as well as many other snacks, it's a song with an enormous amount of essence and exciting content. "Pank" is an album that is sophisticated and contrast-filled and packed with good and not least overrakende songs. Zip Tank is a band that definitely is worthwhile to establish a closer acquaintance with.


Cosmos Music - France
translated with Google
Since its first opus (Luminiferous Ether), we knew that this young American team was full of talent. Remained just to express fully and unequivocally, what is done here. Zip Tang is not the kind of consensual formation, in any case not of those which seeks to make their music accessible to all. Pank does not work hard to reach, just the gradual multi dresses melodies as bright as the darkest sequences. Between Echolyn, Zappa, Gentle Giant, Izz, King Crimson or even Forgas Band Phenomena (certainly the sax), Zip Tang set up the 11 compositions (3 to 8 minutes) of Pank with a few of the most brilliant, both in writing that almost ecstatic osmosis between the musicians. Author of a prog alternately jazzy, bluesy, symphonic or simply sumptuous, Zip Tang will give a great blow to some of our musical certainties. Hats off!

REVIEWS OF LUMINIFEROUS ETHER  - 2007                                                        is
the best sounding self-released album I can ever remember hearing."

"Imagine the Chili Peppers trying to write a modern version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and succeeding. The music kicks ass and they manage to include the words absinthe, carpaccio and escargot in the lyrics."

"Zip Tang's music is always engaging and never "just there" like wallpaper. Luminiferous Ether both feeds a need (one I wasn't even aware I had) and commands respect, always quirky but never condescending, hip, but not shallow. I have to recommend this disc highly."
Tom Karr - Progressive World
Reviews & Comments *
"this is something that is
unlike anything out there"
comments from listeners
like you around the world *
Zip has been classified
here as Eclectic Prog
Four Stars!
"an important newcomer
to the progressive scene"
Gibraltar Encyclopedia
of Progressive Rock *

"Luminiferous Ether is incredible"

links with an * open a new window to their site

International Reviews

Music In Belgium *
Four Stars!
Laboratorio Pop  Brazil
"one of the best of the new prog rock"
Prog Rèsiste Belgian Rock Magazine
"a breath of fresh air "

Dutch Progressive Rock Page*
8 out of 10 stars
Progressive Rock  Brazil
"Brilliant and indispensable work,
highly recommendable..."
Babyblaue  Germany
"Simply Lecherous!" 12 out 15
Rock Times * Germany
8 out of 10 stars
Ragazzi E-zine * Germany
"rocks violently"
Musik An Sich * Germany
16 out of 20 - Highly Recommended!
WLUW  Poland
"very mature and interesting"
Progressia * France
"breathing new progressive rock"


This is good - I'm thinking Pink Floyd good, here!
The song has an american, southern-accent sound - but from the early 70s. Original and clever use of synths and samples, and great melody... sounds liek something a jazz keyboardist would write. Very interesting mix of old classic Ray Charles soul with 70 Brit Prog, and maybe... a little Hendrix? This is intense, and very well shaped, and everybody is taking advantage of their own talents. All in their own pocket, not overly self-indulgent, superbly done. Great new version of Progressive rock!
- e. from Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Corrosion meets Sgt Pepper...
The introduction to this song incorporated sparse classic rock lead stylings which could be likened to Jimmy Page and more recently Pepper Keegan. As we progressed through the first verse, the distorted guitar line was perfect in it's tone as well as heavy but not without a sense of groove.
The vocal precision and tone was a perfect accompaniment, sitting nicely in the mix. Again the voice was reminiscent of Johnny Garcia of Kyuss fame with a touch of Pepper Keegan. Grainy and edgy.
Up until the end of the first chorus, it was but a great groove rock tune. But then out of no-where appears a horn/saxophone sections. From this point on, the song takes a dramatically unexpected turn.
The drums explode into a full time assault on the senses. The highlight of the song, which was most unique in it's approach, was the saxophone/lead guitars playing off one another.
Anybody into good rock, and bored of the same old predictable outcomes would enjoy this song. It provides a refreshing change from what has been, yet somehow manages to still be respectful of the rock tradition.
Fantastically new.
- m. from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

me likes
excellent. Love the guitar work. very original. love the horns. again they add originality. guitar tone is excellent. drums sound very raw. vocals are gritty. I think you guys are on to something here. I think you've created your own style. awesome!!!
- m.d from Dallas, Texas

Asuredly Entertaining
Thanks for being different and using your various awesome musicianship's to original means.
I wasn't that stoked about the first minute, but it does serve to set up the tune, so you certainly don't need to take much notice of my opinion... except when I say, the slippery sax/ synth solo rules, the 3:20 break is handled very effectively by whole band, vox harmonies are right-on and that all of this must be even better live.
- p. from Auckland, New Zealand 

interesting entrance of atonal guitar and beautiful overtones. You recreate sonorous landscapes of a formidable way. Excellent instrumentalist, arrangement is superior in truth, did not hope to find this jewel... Music pleases to me is sensual and later the voices... are good, the singer has a special form to place the voice, he has good technique, so that the overtones of their voice are not listened to tense, that is very gráto as it listens, excellent arrangement as much in music as in the voices. Great work, excellent form to appreciate music.
- L. from México, Distrito Federal, Mexico

Tower of music.
A lot to take in up front. Lots of nice textures. ... The groove for the vocals is solid. Once the vocals start this gets very interesting. The song really takes off with a lot of tasty directions. Love the light hearted lyrics. Wow, this is a fun catagory. Vocals are very good. Guitar is dancing around a solid bass and drums. Not sure what voice your using on the keys/guitar, maybe it's a horn. Can't tell. But it's the bomb. Drums on ending is off the charts. Some of the most interesting stuff I've heard. Are you familiar with I Mother Earth. It's the only thing I can compare this to. Most Excellent.
- t. from St. Petersburg, Florida

I drank what!?
Beautiful pink floyd-esque intro. Good use of effects and texture. Setting us up in a zappa kind of way for should I say...the meat of the song. .... Drums are really well done. haha tower of tuna!? Interplay with the guitar rocks.
- y. from Portland, Oregon

Nice to listen to!
Strong vocals and backing vocals. Like Alice And Chains. Strong overall performance.
I like that the verses and chorus sound simple and in contrast to the instrumental breaks. This makes this song nice to listen to! Great job.
- c. from Breda, Netherlands


Spanish with a twist!!!
Solid guitar work that brings in the Santana lead work mixed in with a very smooth Jazzy, Bluish, Spanish feel to it! I don't think that I have heard a song like this before! The melody work from either a keyboard or drum beat effect is a very smart idea in keeping this song fresh, especially in the mix in having it fade from the left to the right...Beautifully done! Guitars are solidly mixed in very well in producing a strong sound full of depth and tone! Solid Arrangements! Bassist is a Genuis and that Saxaphone is absoulutely SUPURB!!! 5 STAR RATING!
- fb from North Carolina 

This is a catchy tune. The jam was played very tight with the drums and bass playing their role very well. The brass section added a nice touch that established the jazzy mood. As for the effects, great job. To utilize effects well is an art form in itself and you guys did a nice job with that. The different sections of the song were natural considering their variance. The guitar playing was inspiring due to the interetsting choices the player made. They allowed for consistency while travelling through the song. Like a good essay, the song had coherence, with great transitions that were smoothly executed. Great job.

- t. from New Jersey

Really Jam.
I think this is most professional song that I have hear at the The broken rhythm of drums that cover with flight of guitar improvisation sound very interesting. I have listened the song for three times. The rhythm is really catchy.
The guitar is most cool instrument of this song. The fragments from 1.13 to 1.30 and from 4.38 to 5.02. I like the most of all. And of course the sax solo from 2.18 too. The structure of song is very harmonic. The force of energy and slow motion are alternate, attract listener, and do not make him to go mind away. All instruments in right places. I have no any claim.
As to mix: very well balanced. I can hear all of instruments.
In general: Great Job.

Keep rocking guys.

- o.s. from Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

Jazz Inflected Twistedness,Gotta Love It!!
With a slight nod to the English Canterbury style but with far more roughness and grit, these guys can definitely hold your attention, I LOVE the main sax riff, and how the piece goes into this cool film noir/crime jazz sort of thing. Very cool, and some pretty rockin' guitar too!

- t.o.w from Atlanta, Georgia

adorable piece, with entrance jazzy, I really like the sound cool, you you are extraordinary instrumentalist ones. The sounds are perfect; excellent production and the miz is spectacular. Really this piece of progressive rock, so fine and is tecnicamente taken care of that rock could think about jazz cool. Huge teachers of the progressions and the instruments.

- l.m. from Distrito Federal, Mexico

60`s fusion when it works
this is fusion rock santana would love to listen to. for the first time on that i get to listent to a almost 6 minnut song that generats into the most perfect kreation, like seening a flower grow "great arangment" perfekt balance i loved all parts

- pw from Copenhagen, Denmark

Intro cool
And then a cool groove, and it is almost jazz. Perhaps more so than progressive rock. Extremely well done movements. Great guitar playing. The horns sound sort of like a Zappa composition. Not entirely contemporary :) OH, nice sax interlude! Obviously by now this is instrumental. I think this would do well in the jazz genre. But I like it here, too. Tight band! Well recorded. Good production, nice panning. Everything seems right where it should be. no extreme panning that is distracting like you hear sometimes. Nice use of space and the song breathes well. Some will probably blast this for being a long jamming kind of song. I will give it points for that! This song kicks ass!

- s. from Iowa City, Iowa

Throw in the towel, there's a lot of beautiful
In this jam. The mix of instruments plentiful. The ambient feel, add the smooth touch of sax, the slick licks of the guitarist, and a spicy drum, and bass line or two... BAM! This is it.
In my book I vote highly for the Coolest (most tubular) chill-out track.

- m.k. from Minneapolis, Minnesota

I'm in the circus
Very Jazzy, much like the norwegian band Jaga Jazzist. Cool horn section, wich gives the song some edge to it. I like the beats your drumme plays, many different comboes in your style of playing. The flowing guitar parts gives the song some 70's influences and you could have thaught to yourself, is this Santana? Great job guys!

- d. from Oslo, Norway


I got a Santana vibe straight off the top of this track. A well produced piece with a god mix. The off tempo drumming is excellent and alongside the solid bass playing keeps the rhythm section moving along. Good pace. Nothing is self indulgent. The guitars are tasteful and not over bearing. The sax is sexy.

- w. from Windsor, Ontario, Canada

funky soundscape rock
cool use of sax in intro and keys ..feels very zappa with the use of guitar and arrangements or something off of a 70's stevie wonder album

D.H from U.K.

Morphine on speed
Tight as can be. Great dynamics. This is going to be brief 'cause there's nothing I complain about.
Thouroughly enjoyable.
Keep it up.

- t.d. from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

wow! its taste like 70's. very interesting, and i love this. keep going! i will subcribe you.

- m. from Kitashilakawa ,Sakyoq, Kyoto, Japan

Take Five
Off beat jazzy composition with a strong lead guitar 'singing and talking' Sharp performance, very metropolitan, 'city at night' sort of mood.

Great 'Pink Panther' slower section.
This is so interesting to hear and you don't have to wait long for something new to happen - a rhythm change - a new instrument combination. Interesting variety of drumming.

Wow it gets so good after 4 mins with some clever effects that take it to a new classy height.

- k. from undisclosed

Hot Damn!
A really jazzy feel,but more like a modern jazz.Which is definitly not a bad thing. The lead guitarist just has a command to him or her that as u like what could they possibly do next and then ...BAM I get hit with something more fierce then the first,leaving like more!Hit me with some more!Then out what seem like no where the sax reminds how sweet that insturment is suppose to sound. The more i listen to the song(which is alot)The more little thing stick out and make the sound that much more thick..that much more sweet. If music was a flavor, this would defenity be honey.. cuz its just that sweet, im just sitting here listening like wow .. i just cant believe they just did that! Such a flow to it. The way yall play together i would say you guys have been together for years. Cuz with that sound i cant keep my jaw off the floor.Excellent Work!

- b. from nowhere

Laboratorio Pop - Brazil
December 28th, 2008
translated from Portuguese with Google Translate:

ZIP TANG - Luminiferous Ether (Independent): The quartet of Chicago, the American city known for strong winds that cross, is being swept by one of the most interesting rock bands of that country to emerge in recent years. The mixture of irreverence and experimental jazzística Frank Zappa added to an almost punk attitude, near the garage, with the excesses of a musical Emerson, Lake & Palmer can seem a paradox, but in an era marked absence of barriers and limits, the sound Zip the Tang resulted in a wide scope for nuances noise, and this once in your (excellent!) to debut album. Even working within the traditional set of training for the rock, the addition of a wind instrument fincou its musicality few yards ahead of their contemporâneros. Thus, the saxophonist Marcus Padgett (also on keyboards and vocals) plus the guitarist Perry Merritt, the bassist Rick Wolfe and drummer Fred Faller, the quartet responsible for Zip Tang, managed to produce a song in the first offer unconventional sound. "Luminiferous Ether" is the delightful result of the search for innovative solutions to the current impasse and pasmaceira in which the rock and pop are. The album opens with "Tower of Tuna" in a progressive attitude, with a pulsating bass, a guitar dedilhada, something close to Pink Floyd, then dive straight into a rock, weighing, and letters sarcásticas and humor. The sax and keyboard cluttering satisfactorily finish the track, there by half. The same mood and letters ferinas will appear on "Missed the Beginning, jazzística little more, and adventurous. The jazz is stronger in "Nothing Here", dominated by guitar and guitar, plus the sax. The guitar solos to the extent reflected the talent and good taste of Perry - in this aspect, the beautiful work of Perry on track "Like we did before" is noteworthy. Another great moment in the composition is "Beta," almost a 'jam session', instrumental, with pronounced presence of keyboards. The soils of guitar and sax are an invitation for a trip. One of the best tracks on a disc exciting. The competent kitchen rhythmic formed by Wolfe and Faller is a constant presence and vital to the sound of Zip Tang, not only helping, but is central to the final balance, highly positive. For example, "Doctor Plush" and "Searching for Treasure" is more conventional but no less important to the directory, which is noted to have been planned and calculated, not only to complete minutes. Even the inclusion of a leaner version for one of the greatest classics of the history of progressive rock is not for nothing on the disc: a super composition "Tarkus" by Emerson Lake and, deserved time is an issue of equal repaginada propulsion. The prints a Zip Tang speed, transgression and courage not seen in other versions. Not only the presence of the sax, but the energy of garage, punk attitude in the decisive moments, keys, with the musical excellence of the four boys, it was essential to make this a version (18 minutes) required to meet, in incrustrada a disc with an equal amount of essentiality. Can look excited, but the CD is one of the best of the new prog rock in recent years, no doubt. For those who like Floyd, respect Zappa, King Crimson adults, the quality achieved in "Luminiferous Ether" definitely a challenge for the band's second disc - a sign that was launched recently and is in stores. The debut of Zip Tang is ... essential disc. 

Jorge Albuquerque
September 2007

Some band sent me a link to their CD on CD Baby and it's classified as alt/prog. I listen to a few samples and it sucks. Big surprise yeah? Let me remind you,… I'm a prog snob. I don't like neo-prog or prog-metal, so I'm certainly not going to like alt/prog. I don't even like alternative rock that doesn't have progressive pretensions. Well, now that this is established, I feel much better and I can go on now. For some reason I keep looking at other listings from alt/prog bands and I see this listing for a Chicago band called Zip Tang. That's an amusing name I think, and I click on their disc Luminiferous Ether. I check out the song titles and their lengths. Only nine tunes mostly about six minutes long, here's one that's ten minutes long and………aaahh! I see those six little letters. Take my glasses off and stick my nose real close to the monitor, yes, it does say "Tarkus." I start listening to a few samples and it's good, it's all good, not just "Tarkus," but all of it. Wasting no time, I send them a message, get the disc and… here we are.

I tend to fall head over heels in love with a band every now and then, and I also tend to go a bit far with the hyperbole and usually regret it later. I'm going to try to limit my hyperbolic ranting this time, but if anything I've heard recently deserves to be raved about, it's Zip Tang.

If anything, Zip Tang is a fun band (and the lyrics are occasionally funny, too) and that is something that is very unusual in the music I listen to. In caps now……FUN! Zip Tang is also cerebral enough to satisfy any real prog fan as well. Their cover of "Tarkus" alone should demonstrate that well enough. Think Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ben Folds meets Echolyn, Izz, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. Vocals are handled by sax/keys player Marcus Padgett (whose voice sounds to me like Echolyn's Ray Watson) with brief appearances from bassist Rick Wolfe and guitarist Perry Merritt. The songs are all group efforts and the musicianship is top notch all throughout the album. Next to Padgett's great sax playing and his all too brief keyboard work, the real musical star of Luminiferous Ether is drummer Fred Faller who plays much like a cross between the Chili Peppers Jack Irons and Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy…. well, what Portnoy would sound like if he could keep his ego under control and if he had any taste (I must mock DT and Portnoy at every opportunity). The liner notes say the disc was recorded at ZT (Zip Tang?) Studios which is probably one of the band members garage, yet it is the best sounding self-released album I can ever remember hearing. If they told me that this was recorded at the Record Plant or Electric Ladyland studios with Jack Douglas behind the board I would totally believe it. Suffice it to say the sound is incredibly good. The lyrics are clever and well written and some show a healthy concern for food and drink. If you (like me) spend a lot of time listening to bands whose lyrics delve into karma, life before, during and after death, ragging about religion and exploring the various adventures of Orpheous, Salmacis or Odysseus you might even find them a refreshing change of pace.

The disc opens with the wonderful "Tower Of Tuna", Zip Tang's ode to the cocktail and finger food crowd. Imagine the Chili Peppers trying to write a modern version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and succeeding. The music kicks ass and they manage to include the words absinthe, carpaccio and escartgo in the lyrics. It's only the first track and I'm already surprised and delighted.

Next comes "Missed The Beginning." More Chili Peppers meets early Crimson stuff. I'm still being entertained though. The lyrics are pretty much standard Jack Ass generation, slacker stuff, but I can still relate to it. I love the chorus,…"I missed the beginning, I slept through the middle, I wasted the ending, Don't tell me it's over." I've done that a few times.

Track three is "Nothing Here" which reminds me of Izz in their full Ben Folds mode. I've already accepted the reality that this sort of thing is prog and as such I even like this kind of thing now. More slacker lyrics and another great cutting chorus which really speaks to me,…. "There's nothing here, And you're just here, Cause there's nothing there, Or worse than nothing." I've been "there" a few times, too. "Nothing Here" also has a gorgeous acoustic guitar and string synth intro that really sets the mood for this tune quite well. It's all good so far.

The next track "Doctor Plush" gets to more traditional prog territory with its ten minute span, multi-part, suite type construction, great harmony vocals and a few clear references to Pink Floyd. You get a lot of very cool Rick Wright type swirling and spacey keyboards, the Roger Waters "am I crazy?" type lyrics and a long center section with wailing sax that will remind anyone of Dark Side Of The Moon. I'm liking this even more now.

Now we have "Like We Did Before" which is the first thing on this disc that strikes me as filler both musically and lyrically. Filler, and I have nothing to say about filler, next………

Ah yes, next is "Beta," sounding like a cross between the Dave Brubeck Quartet and very early King Crimson. Lots of Crimson influence from this band. Real good sax and guitar interplay on this nearly six minute instrumental. Nice, but very short synth solo, too. The synth voice reminds me of Joe Zawinale. It's all back on the right path now. Uh Oh, track seven is "Searching For Treasure." I don't see any treasure here, but I do hear more filler. Next………..

"With A Twist" takes us back to the Chili Peppers sound without any KC influence to balance it all out and this tune is full on alternative with no prog side whatsoever. I still like it though. Good vocals, nice little synth flute line and a center section that breaks down with a bluesy tempo and feel. It also has some good slide guitar here and there. Not exactly my cup of tea but it's not filler either.

Zip Tang dispenses their best and most proggish material early on and tries to slip in some less than inspired work later on when they figure they've got you hooked but it's not fooling me. They better do something amazing to finish this disc out and the final track does just that in spades.

Luminiferous Ether saves their most proggy and most musically impressive work till the end with a full on eighteen minute rendition of "Tarkus." I've described most of Zip Tang's tunes as some sort of Chili Peppers/ King Crimson blend so telling you that they are now performing a pretty faithful version of ELP's massive "Tarkus" may seem like the band is ending with a sudden left turn. Maybe, but not after you've heard the whole disc a few times. This just takes everything Zip Tang has done up till now and expands it to its logical extremes. They break down Emerson's keyboard work with Perry Merritt playing mostly the left hand keys parts on guitar while Marcus Padgett handles the right hand part with all of its melodic and thematic focus on the sax. Padgett also fills out whatever else seems necessary on keyboards using his best B-3 voice. The biggest surprise (for me anyway) is just how good and satisfying this cover of "Tarkus" is. Like I said earlier, I tend to fall in love with a band and go all googly over them, and (at least for now) I'd rather hear this version of "Tarkus" than ELP's version (forgive me) or any of the other covers of "Tarkus" that I have treasured up till now. The only complaint I can even make about this version is that I would have preferred that Padgett had sung this tune. The vocals by bassist Rick Wolfe are fine but after getting used to Padgett's voice over the course of this disc I think he could have done a better job of it. No offense to the other singing band members, but Zip Tang can only have one "best" singer and that is clearly Padgett. Of course, Padgett has to play a lot of complex sax lines and when he's not doing that he has to fill in the gaps on keyboards and expecting him to sing as well would make it impossible for him to pull it all off live, but nevertheless….. I would be remiss to leave out the fact that everyone has their hands full on this excellent piece of work, and that Wolfe's bass playing is dead on and Fred Faller's drumming is exceptional here.

All in all, I really like this disc, much more than I would ever have guessed. It took me a dozen spins before I felt qualified to say anything reasonably intelligent (I hope) about it since alt/prog is way, way outside my usual little world of prog music.

Zip Tang's music is always engaging and never "just there" like wallpaper. Luminiferous Ether both feeds a need (one I wasn't even aware I had) and commands respect, always quirky but never condescending, hip, but not shallow. I have to recommend this disc highly. No album is perfect and this disc is no exception. The presence of a couple of less than inspired cuts along side of so many unique and memorable performances prevents me from giving Zip Tang the highest marks that my first listen led me to believe was warranted, but after listening to this debut a good many times I think my current opinion is valid and not fueled by any passing fancy. Maybe it will just be a short term obsession with me, but I hope not.

by Tom Karr
October 2007

Zip Tang is yet another Chicago area band that is treading new ground. By fusing elements of vintage progressive ie:(King Crimson/Pink Floyd/Camel) with a hint of Frank Zappa's humor, perhaps a bit of the old Canterbury scene, as well as modern rock sounds giving them a hip and modern sound. They consist of a four piece, of bass, guitars, drums and a multi-musician that does saxes, keys and vocals. The band plays a variety of styles as indicated, and more with an attitude of edginess and fun. While the band features a strong musical backing, the songs are vocal based, yet the backdrop of instruments beckons to be heard. Much in the way Zappa's vocals were merely another addition to the instrumentations that were constructed.

The sax of Marcus Padgett plays a prominent role in the band, in a way the older progfans may remember hearing from Ian MaDonald of Crimson, or even with Mel Collins on his contributions to progressive music, and of course Dick Parry's contributions with Pink Floyd. So the sax doesn't flavor the music overtly in a jazzy way, but simply adds a unique voice to the music, making for some memorable moments. Perry Merritt is the bands' guitarist, he has a retro feel about his playing, squarely cut from the hard rock sounds from the golden era, he provides many of the bands moods, with hard rock leanings and melodic sensibilities, the band never strays too far from their harder edged style, but will offer up some moments of mellowness. Merritts is not a fusion or metallized style whatsoever, he will remind you of the days where speed and articulate fretboard navigation were not in vogue for guitarists, but bends, hammer ons and offs, and squeezing a good sustain were important parts of a guitarists repertoire.

Is Zip Tang an important newcomer to the progressive scene? This is a question that many progressive rock fans ponder with many new artists, but in the end, it's always a matter of tastes, and a few matters of fact, one being, is the band doing something new? The answer here is, yes. Zip Tang is doing something new, by having an ear for the past and an eye on the modern attitudes of alternative music. They have managed to be both accessible and radio unfriendly, while most of the reflective glances in the sake of referencing the band's roots for inspiration are that of older bands, they certainly do not sound like a retro band whatsoever, they are very contemporary sounding. And are only bringing elements and hints of the retro vibe into their sound.

It would be hard not to mention the band's rendition of the progressive rock classic Tarkus, originally done by the iconic trio of ELP, one would assume that the band possesses a over the top keyboardist to attempt such a tune, yet it is the saxes and guitars that do make the music go here, mimicking the essences of Emerson's wizardry. It's over 18 minutes long so no shortcuts were taken here, I like it for the the band's obvious dedication to the details of the original, yet I guess I will always like the original better, but the band do a fantastic job of recreating each and every aspect of the song.

Thanks to the MySpace revolution, you can go to the bands site there and check them out for yourselves to see if they are your thing. I can say that this cd is a good debut for a creative new band, everything was done professionally, from the great artwork, packaging, sound quality, songwriting, etc. The bands serves as a prime example of how to get things right for a proper self release. Good band, very sincere sounding and unique, hope to hear more things from them in the future.

MJ Brady

International Reviews

The Missing Piece - Sweden
New American progband that often come close to Echolyn in their inventive prog. Other artists that spring to mind is Zappa, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, ELP and Yes. A daring mix, no doubt, and completely irresistable. And of course the musicians are top notch! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Progressive Rock Brazil
Zip Tang
are a four-piece band from Chicago. According some comments around the music world press, they prefers to play something from the classic influences, the nice modern art and the bit of indispensable jam and "new music" - in a manner that, currently, gets optimistic praises, plus in a musical attractive emphaty that can score, further on, more and more important progressive qualities.

Zip Tang knows how to paint a delightful instrumental production, rick and stuffed with a lot of influences from the '70s, a band that consists of the standard Progressive lineup, using classical instruments as keyboard, guitar, bass, and drums, bringing together, good moments that echo some irreverence of "Frank Zappa", adding the signature sound of "Van der Graaf Generator" and "King Crimson" with symphonic tendencies of "Yes", completing with some ingredients of the Progressive Hard Rock from "Wishbone Ash". Zip Tang features talented musicians, playing very good Progressive Rock style, with amazing instrumental arrangements, which consist of very tasteful solos of guitar, while the keyboards add a touch of symphonism, bass and drums develop some very cool rhythm sections with lush vocals, but one of the big surprise is, the highlighted saxophone section that create a strong feeling in the musical arrangements.

Luminiferous Ether" is a very diverse album, full of great songs and surprises, starting with the track "Tower Of Tuna", a song developed into Zappa's style. "Missed The Beginning" and "Nothing Here" are a powerful Hard Rock songs, where the guitars and drums are very strong and have a perfect balance. "Doctor Plush", "Like We Did Before" and "Searching For Treasure" are a Progressive Rock tracks that sounds very impressive, melodic, heavy and symphonic. "Beta"contains some interesting Jazz Fusion elements where sax, keyboards and guitar display interesting musical textures.  "With A Twist" blends Jazz Fusion with hard rock elements. The album ends powerfully with a stronger version of "Tarkus (E.L&P.)" which is very well played, featuring a strong musical signature, especially developed in the style of Zip Tang.

Luminiferous Ether" album was released in 2007, including nine tracks and 64:14min of a pure musical emotions. Engineered by Perry Merritt, recorded at ZT Studios - Park Ridge, IL. The musicians on the band are: Marcus Padgett - Keyboards, Sax and Vocals, Perry Merritt - Guitars and Vocals, Rick Wolf - Bass and Vocals and Fred Faller - Drums and Percussion. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... 

by Carlos Vaz

top - Germany  
(poor but amusing translation from the web)
Lecherous!  Very simply lecherous Zip seaweed Debut-album Luminiferous Ether is.  Begun in the distressing cover, over the dry Instrumentierung, that loosely lectured pieces and the official production and to end brought with the "absurd" cover-version of Tarkus - all simply lecherous! 

Zip seaweed, that is is JamRock, that zappaesker Nonsens and late-crimsoides Selbstbewusstein.  That is is is funky, that jazzig, that fart dry and that is of the Sax dominated...  Would become someone so a disk describe to me, would enjoy is I it with caution, but Zip seaweed simply lecherous, said I that already? 

Over a year worked the volumes at this disk, hears that one.  Everything is reasoned, each piece is offered in professional perfect ions, suffocates on however not überprofessioneller earnestness.  Lockerheit is must be trump, joke and transfers itself like obviously to the listener.  Are there any objections?  To the need the schmalspurige song of Marcus Padgett, I almost would like to mean however, so must be that.  Perhaps the few Keyboardpassagen are sometimes a little to "artificial" Synthie-moderate.  Alas watts, it are only a couple...  Did not should the Sax irritate me?  No - here, datt must not so!  Must the occasional Bratz-passages of the guitar be then?  Unconditionally, but why did one not should himself over so something ereifern? 

Does and in the end the cover expelled explicitly as bonus-piece by Tarkus come asks has itself, and one inevitable; "what that then on the disk to seek?".  Nothing!  Very simply nothing.  Except the fact that it is yet once entirely interesting to get lectured the straying Keyboardeskapaden of a Keith Emerson mainly through Sax.  Otherwise Zips prove seaweed, that it also so what highly professional and few processed manage...  A long end-Gag. 

Zip seaweed a loose contribution is arrive with Luminiferous Ether at the subject "entertaining Mucke with kernel" and because it is so cool, find I it simply lecherous! 

by Fix Sadler
original German text

MLWZ Radio - Poland
Zip Tang is a band from Chicago. They’ve recently released their debut album entitled Luminiferous Ether. When I got my hands on this CD, I became really intrigued at my first glance of the cover. Well, the tracklist is composed of 7 tracks, most lasting 5-6 minutes, a 10-minute one and one 18-minute suite at the very end, entitled… Tarkus. Yes, there’s no mistake here. It’s the same ELP’s Tarkus, which was shortened by Zip Tang to slightly less than the 20-minute original composition. And I have to say that although the Zip Tang’s rendition differs a little bit from the original, it is still a really successful culmination of the album. The preceding 45 minutes of Zip Tang’s own compositions also make a very good impression. At the same time, the music sounds very original, because the band often goes beyond the most explored areas of progressive rock: they particularly sound like Frank Zappa, and jazzy King Crimson – generally speaking, jazz rock climates, which are not always easy in reception, but sound very mature and interesting

A vocalist (and at the same time a saxophone and keyboards player) Marcus Padgett sounds like a cross between Ray Watson from Echolyn and the late Layne Staley from Alice In Chains. Instrumentally speaking, in Zip Tang’s music you can hear not only Zappa but also echoes of the style of Red Hot Chili Peppers, King Crimson (intensive sax parts), Uriah Heep (just listen to the effective Hammond in Doctor Plush, in my opinion the most interesting recording on the album) or even early Pink Floyd. However you can’t say that Zip Tang plays exactly like any of the popular progressive bands. This American quartet draws on different sources and all those well-known musical themes are only ways that they use to achieve the aim to form their own, original and indeed interestingly played music.

Artur Chachlowski
original Polish text

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