Zwarté (Minor Major Music) 1992
1. She Wouldn't Wait
Zwarte are a band I was
unfamiliar with until receiving this CD in the mail from a friend. Upon first
listen I couldn't help but think of early Kix,
for this is who this band reminds me of, both in style and in appearance. After
a few more listens I would actually say the band falls somewhere between the
campy, glam sounds of T-Rex and the hard anthemic rock of Kiss.
Their songs have plenty of sing-along choruses, and I can see why they were
such a popular band in the home state of South Dakota. (At least I think that
is where they are from.) The disc starts off on a rather mellow note with a
ballad. I think I would have liked to have heard a full throttle rocker here,
but alas, there really aren't any on this CD. Most the songs are of the power
ballad variety with a few mid-paced rockers like "Lizzy" and "Loco P.D." thrown
in for good measure. Have heard this band has several other CDs out. I am curious
if they ever got any heavier or turned up the adrenaline a bit.
Zwarté - Zwatré IV - We Came Here (Minor Major Music) 1999
1. How 'Bout This
"Zwatré IV - We Came Here" is the band's fourth independently released full-length CD. I must say, that within itself is impressive as most bands who don't break out into the mainstream or at least get some label backing don't usually last that long. In any case, the band is still treading the same musical territory, reminding me of a more slightly more aggressive Tom Petty, Dire Straits, or at times a less aggressive Nazareth. A few songs even have a bit of a southern draw, especially on album opener "How 'Bout This One" and cuts like "In The Night." Much of these comparisons have to do with Randall Zwart's rough, midrange vocal style, vocal melodies, as well as the band's retro guitar riffs. For some reason I also hear a bit of a glam-rock (Sweet/T-Rex) influence on the band, although this certainly is not the image the band is going for. One thing for sure, the band knows how to write a hook, and had they come around a few decades earlier, I imagine they would have been much more well known. I am actually quite surprised that I enjoyed this CD so much, as it really doesn't have any full on hard rock or heavy metal assaults. However, as I said, the band knows how to write a hook, which had me popping this disc into my car CD player several times after receiving it. Best of all, after the CD went off, there was still those infectious choruses in my head..."We Came here...we came here...to get you off." Zwatré are good time rock 'n' roll.
Zwarte - Loud American (Minor Major Music) 2000
1. "Scream" (3:15)
Zwarte does what Zwarte does best, they play rowdy, bar room, American, mainstream rock and roll. They aren't what I would describe as a heavy band. Rather, they have more in common with bands like ZZ Top, Foghat and a bit of the Fabulous Thunderbirds to boot. "Scream" is probably the 'heaviest' song on this CD, and it is just a straight forward hard rocker. "Wanna Dance" is also a rocker, although not quite as manic as the opening track. "Loud American" is a cool, groove based song. The chorus is very cool with the high background vocals that almost sound like Axel Rose (Guns 'n Roses). "Gimme Shelter" is a Stones cover, and a classy choice at that. (Holy Soldier pulled off a great cover of this as well.) "Butt-Crack Blues" is just funny. As the title suggests, this is a blues song about big butts. "Moonshine" is an acoustic country-blues song. "Kickin' Cryin'" is another roudy rocker. The CD finishes out with a melodic, acoustic ballad. I bet these guys would be a kick to see in a club because their CDs sure are fun.