Hailing from London, and including bassist Joe Copcutt (bassist of Axewound and ex-bassist of Rise to Remain), Zoax have released their eagerly awaited EP, Is Everybody Listening?. The charismatic five piece band have been extremely busy over the past year playing up and down the country and recently took UK festival Takedown by storm. Following from their previous EP release, XIII, Zoax were set to provide great things since their previous EP was a smash hit, having said that it was a big bang that needed to follow and I fear the buck has stopped short with this new release.
Opening up with a simple "?" as track one, it paves the way for the questions that follow surrounding their track choices and order. It's questionable why they would place such a short, powerless track at the beginning of their EP as it loses the expected OOMPF you'd want at the beginning of a release, especially since it needs to lure you in with a quick snap. Following the rather uneventful first track is "Lonely Souls" which brings in that bang that you were searching for in the first two minutes. It packs a powerful punch and picks up the pace massively, perhaps even saving the rest of the EP's dignity.
"Click" brings in an even larger wave of power and redeems the previous two track's shortcomings. This tune shows Carroll's true abilities and really pits itself in the list of memorable songs off this release. His vocals are on point and by far the best I've heard them so far. Filled with an epic chorus and some intriguing and varied riffs, this track stands out as one of the best for me.
Despite "Click" being arguably Carroll's best performance on this EP, "Zero Point Seven" pinpoints the entire band's skillset and talent and demonstrates their potential as a unit. Closer "Innocent Eyes" starts off with quite a soft and acoustic turn in sound and then, begins to rise up and up until it bursts into a powerful midriff. Then, in the middle, a beautiful melodic guitar leads Carroll's beautiful clean vocals, which then break into a deafening cascade of aggression and brings the EP to a crashing end.
All in all, without the first song this is an exceptional EP. There is a reason this band are fast-rising in the metal/hardcore circuit in the UK. If you liked the EP then I urge you to see the band live as well since they are one of the most charismatic and memorable bands I have seen in the past year.
02. Lonely Souls
04. Zero Point Seven
05. Right Words
06. Innocent Eyes
Running Time: 20:26
Release Date: February 9, 2015