Zomes – “Zomes” (2008)
One of the main reasons I have this whole blog/podcast endeavor is so that I can talk about things like Zomes. There are so many albums/movies/whatever that I’ve encountered over the years that aren’t these massive A Band Called Death-level hidden gems, but still hold a soft spot in my heart. In reality, this type of cultural ephemera makes me want to dig deeper into people’s artistic endeavors more so than the top-tier stuff. There are only so many of those mind-altering pieces of culture out there, so being able to consistently fun and engaging stuff is a necessity. To take it a step further, finding songs like this make these blog posts worthwhile because it means I can possibly share some of these great things with other people, which can be hard in your day-to-day life sometimes. Even if you’re surrounded by dozens of extremely like-minded people, when is something like Zomes going to pop up? Rarely, if ever. But I had them in my mind today and felt like writing about them, so here we are. It’s an intensely gratifying feeling to have that kind of freedom.
So, what is the deal with Zomes? Well, Zomes is the name of Lungfish member Asa Osbourne’s drone-y solo project. Down the line he would add Swedish vocalist Hanna Olivegren into the mix, but on this, his 2008 self-titled debut album on Holy Mountain, he was going solo. And yes, you may have just realized that this song hits the trifecta of having the same name as the album title and the band itself. It is one of my favorite dumb things in music when the band hits a triple. You have the obvious examples: Black Sabbath, Bad Company, Bad Religion, Comets on Fire, Run the Jewels, and Zomes is one of the more obscure examples of this.
Zomes (the album, not the guy) is this really warm, lo-fi drone record that seems to just get better upon each subsequent listen. The fuzzy drones feel designed to diffuse throughout your mind with its entrancing use of organ, synth, and guitar. I decided to highlight the title track not only because of its trivia curio nature, but because it best exemplifies what I love about this record. It feels like a field recording of some kind of sacrosanct processional, like there’s some liturgical figure swinging a censer of incense pendulously around an ornamental altar as this song plays. However, it isn’t uniform in its repetition. Each loop is slightly different from the last, and while this seems like it would be counterintuitive to alter the loop of the drone, I think it adds a level of intrigue to the song. Despite its hypnotic effect, you still feel engaged with what you’re listening to. My only real complaint is that with a runtime of 2:20, I think it is too short. I could honestly stand to listen to another five to six minutes of the track, but that’s the ultimate nitpick. I love this song, and the rest of this album is excellent as well.
One final thing about this record is that I love the album artwork. It was what first drew me to the record, and I’m still fascinated by it. I cannot tell if it is two twisting purple spires breaching the horizon or if it’s frayed fiber optic cable or what. When I first saw it, I thought it was a weird birthday cake made out of pull-and-peel Twizzlers, which seems dumb, but I don’t know what the hell those things are. All I know is that I love them. Anyways, great stuff. Check it out.
For more short song discussions, check out our post about the song “Cherry Pepsi” by Saint Pepsi here.