Zulu Pearls - No Heroes No Honeymoons
Record Label: Cantora Records
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Zulu Pearls are a rock and roll band that reeks of sex and booze without succumbing to the drug problems, or Kate Moss problems, that have drowned out the sound of fellow rockers living life in the fast lane. On No Heroes No Honeymoons the standard is chilled out garage rock, but there are enough songs where the band mixes it up to keep the album moving at a varied pace. The vocals are delivered in a seductive manner that is smooth but full to the brim with debauchery, almost to the extent that the true depth of the lyrical content is masked. On No Heroes Zulu Pearls are interested in drinking and women, and they’re not about to apologize for the extent that dominates the purview. However, a closer listen reveals a refreshing level of introspection.
[i]No Heroes No Honeymoons sounds like a late night in a big city. Zulu Pearls frequently reminds of The Strokes but this record is less frantic than early Strokes work and more interesting than anything that band has done recently. Perhaps due to being based in Germany after originally forming in America, Zulu Pearls exhibit a Clashesque tendency of shoving various sub-genres into a decidedly rock record. The influences are subtle enough to incorporate naturally, but pervasive enough to be undeniable.No Heroes is certainly a vintage sounding rock record, but the genre defying flourishes throughout refuse to allow it to be pigeon holed into any hip categorization.
The highlights on this album show that it is still possible to write rock and roll songs that are throwbacks without being rehashed throwaways. “Magic Tricks” is the fastest song on the record and it has a lot in common with Is This It era Strokes material. It weighs in at less than two and a half minutes long and it keeps with the general theme of the record, including the line “the party’s over, but I can’t tell.” No Heroes is full of fond recollections of good times, tinged with just enough regrets to keep the stories grounded in reality rather than nostalgia.
“Whatever You Want” walks a similar line. While it starts as a documentation of his lust for women (and alcohol) it’s only a matter of time before it’s noted that “white noise is only noise.” The album closes with the title track. It’s a slow track that manages to stay relatively upbeat despite its somber sound. Zulu Pearls cherish the present moment and have no unreal expectations about the bigger picture. With no expectations of a fairytale ending involving a hero or a honeymoon, it’s easy to appreciate the smaller pleasures that the night has to offer.