TVD Live Shots: Zig Zags at The Black Heart, 7/24

I may be late to the party when it comes to discovering the punk-metal genius that is the Los Angeles trio Zig Zags, but better late than never. And it’s prime time to jump on board as the band has seen several lineup changes over the years, finally landing as the power trio that they are today.

Their new album They’ll Never Take Us Alive could be labeled as a throwback, but I think it’s more than that. This record perfectly captures the glory days of early thrash metal classics such as Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, Stormtroopers’ eponymous debut, DRI’s masterpiece Thrash Zone and more. Zig Zags don’t merely regurgitate, but they add punk righteousness to reignite a lost sound.

This was the first time seeing these guys, and holy shit do they make a lot of noise. It’s a huge fucking sound coming out of three dudes. Cram that into the legendary upstairs room at The Black Heart in Camden, and you have the makings for something quite epic.

The set was fast and furious like a potent mix of piss and vinegar thrown at your face. The songs from the new record are the ones that I wanted to hear live, and they stood out—the strongest of them being the track “Fallout” which was a real highlight of the evening. If you want to be transported back to a simpler time when thrash was primed to take over the metal world, this is your aural time machine.

These guys have crafted a record that could be the start of something massive. The problem is that these records that reinvent a genre often are a bit ahead of themselves until some significant label signs a couple of rip off bands and puts a bunch of money behind them and said band gets all the credit—only for the original band who had the ideas to get recognized after it’s too late. (Want an example? Just look at major label signings after The Black Keys took off—there were too many replicants to count.)

Bottom line, these guys have made a brilliant punk-metal record and all they need now is for one of the bigger metal bands on the scene to take notice and bring them on the road to melt some faces live. Get this record, turn it up loud, and get ready to hear one of the best metal bands of 2019.

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