ZUKU’s seven-song EP, Here With You, is mainly a
balance of the hard and the musical –we say mainly because the Toronto
rock band throws a few curve balls, not the least of which comes from the
splashes of mandolin, piano, Korg bass synth and mini Moog, which it
doesn’t have live. Although ZUKU would probably want to be known for its
heavier songs, the lighter-by-comparison “The Wave Washes Away” is a
smash hit with its altogether-now possibility “they won’t stop calling for you
/ for you / for you / for you,” while “Steelveins” is a country bluegrass clap-
along that could be stepped up onstage into wild hootenanny. The rest are in
a Foo Fighters vein, hard-voiced but big on melody, like the rock radio-
ready title track. Lead singer/guitarist Brandon Kennedy devised ZUKU in
2003, working on the sound while he was still in metal outfit Goat Horn.
Flash forward to the fall of 2006, and he and Mike Conroy (guitar, vocals),
Jordan Beard (bass, vocals) and Chris Chartrand (drums) joined him at
Toronto’s Hallam Studios for two months to record the EP. Kennedy co-
produced alongside Uncut’s Jon Drew (Toyko Police Club, Magneta Lane).
Zuku is currently back in the studio working on their sophmore release.
- Karen Bliss © 2007 Canadian Musician Showcase