The best thing about the moody debut album from S.F. band Zodiac Death Valley is that it you can't pin it down. Its standout track, “Cincy, OH,” is a piano crawl heavy on smoky atmosphere and bad feelings, like Tom Waits after a particularly rough night. Another highlight, “Hail Hail December,” sounds like what would have happened if the Doors had come after '70s punk. Meanwhile, “Look Alive” could be a B-side off the last Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album. Considering the breadth and fire captured on the initial effort from these local boys, we're interested to see where they'll go.
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