"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

ZX Spectrum - "Alms" (CD/EP)

ZX Spectrum - "Alms" CD/EP cover image

"Alms" track listing:

1. 60Days (4:14)
2. Fair Facts (5:04)
3. Ignore & Forget (4:09)
4. Waste to Waste (3:41)
5. Mess (3:30)

Reviewed by on January 22, 2010

"Containing all the right elements for a successful, catchy album, 'Alms' is good, but missing some key ingredients that draw away from the album as a whole."

Sharing their name with a British 8-bit computer from the 80s, ZX Spectrum is a death n’ roll band hailing from Latvia. “Alms” is their second EP. Containing all the right elements for a successful, catchy album, “Alms” is good, but missing some key ingredients that draw away from the album as a whole.

From start to finish, “Alms” is a very melodic release. The riffs are well written and interesting the entire way through. The band carefully structured this album and did it well. There are mostly melodic leads, with a lot of punk and classic rock influence. The album as a whole is mostly upbeat and extremely catchy, but does have an air of seriousness about it, as ZX Spectrum tackles social issues in their lyrical content. The vocals are a combination of hardcore punk and higher rasping vocals very similar in nature to Carcass. All of the songs have great bits of music in them; for example, “Ignore and Forget” contains a well done solo with some acoustic work, along with a section of clean vocals. While the majority of this EP is very well done, the last two songs don’t have the same power as the others and pull the EP down.

I only really have two problems with this album: it could have been a whole lot heavier and could have used a lot more tempo changes. I think if the band put a little more focus into the lower ends of the sound, this EP could have been a lot more powerful. Also, the tempo pretty much stays the same the entire way through. I would have loved to see the mid-range music matched by some high speed parts. This way, the EP could have stayed as melodic and catchy, but would have added a ton more substance.

Overall, ZX Spectrum creates very entertaining, well thought out and catchy music. Despite a few flaws, “Alms” is a decent EP. With some more heaviness and focus on consistency, the future releases from the band could be very powerful and well done albums. Hopefully, the band will have the flaws ironed out in time for the next release.

Highs: Catchy, melodic music.

Lows: Could be heavier and has some tempo issues.

Bottom line: Even though it doesn't pack as much power as it should, this EP is definitely entertaining.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)