Zox Rocks

Zox Rocks

by Matt Bower

Looking for a fun, upbeat, and energetic sound with a fresh newspin?

Look no further than ZOX.

This Providence, RI four-piece fuses rock, jazz and reggae witha side of classical to form a sound all their own. It’s allcaptured and packaged on their debut album “Take Me Home.”

ZOX draws from many influences including Sublime, Led Zeppelin,The Police, Paul Simon and NOFX while incorporating elements ofeach into their unique sound.

One important element to ZOX’s original sound, also the mostnoticeable element, is Spencer Swain’s violin. Spencer brings theclassical edge to the band with his eccentric playing. Many of thesongs are introduced with Swain’s sweeping violin; he provides asavory melody, while often times taking the lead with sharp highnotes.

John Zox, drummer, percussion and band namesake, maintains asteady, upbeat tempo for the rest of his band mates to follow. Healso throws in rhythm changes here and there to keep the songsinteresting and alive. There’s never a dull moment whether calm andsoothing or fast and catchy. Zox definitely gets things rollingwith his speedy drum solo on the intro to “Ode to the MountainPirates.”

Bassist Eli Batalion is not to be forgotten. In many bands, theonly reason you know a bassist is present is by reading their namein the credits; this is not the case with Eli Batalion. He makeshis presence both felt and known with his slow and low,groove-laden riffs lending a rhythmic backbone to the band’s sound.Bassists are especially important for that laid-back reggae soundand Eli does not disappoint.

Rounding out the quartet is guitarist and songwriter Eli Miller.Miller is a good guitarist and adds a bright flavor to the music,but his real talent is his song writing. The lyrical content on”Take Me Home” is rich, wonderful, thought provoking and full offeeling. ZOX may be a fun party band, but their lyrics are notmeaningless or generic. The following are lyrics from”Ghostown.”

“I live in this ghostown/the whispers from the walls fall likefeathers to the ground/I walk upon these cemetery streets/and Idon’t speak the language of the skeletons that I meet.”

Miller is the songwriter, but he is not the only voice in theband. Miller, Batalion, and Swain create a three-part vocal harmonyas they all contribute to form the voice of ZOX.

Although, all the songs are great on “Take Me Home” as there areno fillers, tracks you should make it a point not to miss include”Goodbye To You,” “Leaving Me,” “Rain On Me,” and “Delicious.”

“Goodbye To You” begins with high guitar notes and even higherviolin notes and will have you bouncing to its infectious rhythm inno time.

“Leaving Me” is a strong song both lyrically and musically.Swain peppers it with a nice violin melody as well.

“Rain On Me” is a bobbin’ reggae joint that would make even BobMarley proud.

“Delicious” is one of the many tasty treats in ZOX’s recipe withan addicting hook that is sure to wet your appetite.

Also be sure to check out “The Squid,” “Butterfly,” “Ghostown,””Ode To The Mountain Pirates,” the slower “Eventually,” and ZOX’scover of Pachelbel’s “Canon.”

ZOX is the perfect band for college kids to shake their groovething to. ZOX were once part of the college scene. They began as asmall college band playing gigs in the basement of Brown Universityin Providence, RI. They know how to rock and have fun; they knowwhat it’s all about.

The band has grown from that point having won many titles in theBattle of the Bands circuit and receiving lots of airplay oncollege radios across the country.

Fellow students, if you have not been fortunate enough to hearZOX on KSTM, fear not; ZOX will be performing live in BrentonStudent Center this Friday, Oct 10. They’re a great band to checkout.