Katastrophe Vol. 3
reviewed in CMJ
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ZMRZLINA
KATASTROPHE
VOL.3

Buy it right now from
Incidental Music Online!
Christopher R. Weingarten - CMJ "With its countless oddball leanings, Zmrzlina is a nutty treat tastier than any musicians that actually have ice creams named after them."
David Cook - SF weekly "Listening to Katastrophe Vol. 3, ...is like going to a theater to see a noir thriller and getting David Lynchian oddness instead."


11 NEW SONGS

SUPERMARKET RADIO
SUTRO TOWER
SCHOOL GIRLS
CREEK LULLABY
LENNY
KENTUCKY
PSYCHOBABBLE
KILL THE MARTINI DRINKER
C SONG
GENEALOGY
KATASTROPHES



Cast
Jeff Ray, Heather Snider, Tracy Hankins, Mark Frischman, Sean Dorn, Ashley Adams, Daniel St. Andre, Ralph Carney, Marvin Hollins, Eli Crews, Diana Senechal, Jorge Boehringer, Chris Johanson, Andrew, Tsering, Steve
Crew
Joe Goldring, Marvin Humphrey, Eric White, Alena Scooter Randolph, Bill Swanson, Christine Shields, Jo Jackson, Shane Montgomery + Stacey Stelnicki, Kenneth Traynor, Eva Hedstrom and Mona Kuhn


REVIEWS:

CMJ - march 2002

Zmrzlina
Katastrophe, vol. 3
incidental music

FILE UNDER
Art-Rock Psycho-delia
R.I.Y.L. (reccomended if you like...)
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282, the Fall, White
Light/White Heat

San Franciscan art-rock assemblage Zmrzlina named
itself after the Czech word for "ice cream," but if
the group was a bowl of ice cream, it'd be an
intimidating confection indeed, full of contradictory
tastes that one couldn't fathom tasting great
together. The flavors they savor arose from earlier
undergrounds: Can's hypnotic Krautrock swagger, the
Fall's angular shards and wry delivery, Captain
Beefheart's scattershot rumble, Eric Dolphy's free-sax
skronk (courtesy of Tom Waits reedman Ralph Carney),
X's rocakabilly-inflected thrash and more sloppy
Velvets-isms than you can shake a Stroke at. The band
tosses 'em into the blender and sets it to "art."
Wily hooks and approachable grooves float to the top,
but Zmrzlina constantly throws alien elements in the
mix. "Supermarket Radio" ignores the fact that it's
secretly a dance number by opening with a minute and a
half of unsettling musique concrete and fucdgin with
foreign harmonies and turntable noise. "Kill the
Martini Drinker" is perfect art-punk thrash enhanced
by a violin solo and articulated noisebursts, while
"Schoolgirls" walks mellow post-Breeders harmonies
down drum-machine sputter until frantic Eugene
Chadbourne-esque guitar molestations shatter the
glass. With its countless oddball leanings, Zmrzlina
is a nutty treat tastier than any musicians that
actually >have< ice creams named after them.
-Christopher R. Weingarten


Zmrzlina
Katastrophe Vol. III (Incidental Music)
BY DAVID COOK

sfweekly.com | originally published: November 21, 2001

Listening to Katastrophe Vol. 3, the newest offering from S.F. band Zmrzlina, is like going to a theater to see a noir thriller and getting David Lynchian oddness instead. The music on the group's sophomore effort is so lush and seductive that you wish it wouldn't insist so vehemently on being Art. And yet, Zmrzlina's determination to mess with its hook-laden pop tunes -- driven by the slick guitar of frontman Jeff Ray and the spastic-but-steady drumming of Heather Snider -- is its biggest strength, even if the process undermines the urge to tap your feet.

Zmrzlina's eclectic approach works brilliantly on the carefully crafted opening track, "Supermarket Radio," in which no effort is spared to provide the creepy ambience of a late-night run to Safeway, where canned hits from the '80s foster bitter, lovelorn reminiscences. After a voice-over introduction from violinist Tracy Hankins, the tune shifts into ripping keyboard solos, weird funk breaks, and robotic vocal exchanges, raising the skeletally simple song to the level of postmodern masterpiece. The mix-and-match method is less successful on "Psychobabble," a tune that also appeared on Zmrzlina's debut CD. This time through, the track has been retooled with a voice-over from local artist Chris Johanson, which, while funny, ultimately detracts from the sweet guitar hook.

Thankfully, such obtrusiveness is kept to a minimum on other tracks, as the band shifts styles without trying to blend too many at once. Continuing its fascination with all things San Francisco, Zmrzlina visits the surf rock confines of "Sutro Tower" and delivers the dot-com diatribe "Kill the Martini Drinker." Toward the end of the album, Ray reveals yet another side of his multifaceted band with "Genealogy," a '70s sing-along soul-type anthem. It's clear from Katastrophe Vol. 3 that Zmrzlina can't decide which side of the art/rock equation it wants to emphasize. But if the group keeps delivering smart, catchy tunes like these, maybe it doesn't have to.


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Zmrzlina
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