Friday, February 26, 2010

The Swirling Eddies - "Zoom Daddy"

The Swirling Eddies - Zoom Daddy
1994, Alarma

1. I Had a Bad Experience With the C.I.A. and Now I'm Gonna Show You My Feminine Side
2. Mr. Sharky
3. (Disco) Love Grapes
4. Nightmare at Elks Lodge
5. The Golden Girl of the Golden West
6. Sweet Mother of God
7. The Twist
8. God Went Bowling
9. Multipurpose Man
10. Pyro Sets a Wildfire
11. Some Friendly Advice
12. Art Carney's Dream
13. Holy, Holy, Holy
14. Zoom Daddy

I bought this shortly after I posted my Outdoor Elvis review and someone left a comment suggested I get Zoom Daddy. I just have one thing to say to that person: THANK YOU SO MUCH! The Eddies' third disc is something of an enigma. While the previous effort was pretty easy to classify, this one is well... unique. In fact, my first time through I asked myself, "What the heck am I listening to?!" Be forewarned, Zoom Daddy takes a few listens to sink in. Probably the first thing I noticed is that despite the humorous song titles this album is serious as a heart attack. While some of the imagery is amusing the points that are being made are somber and grave - pondering the deeper mysteries of God and the human condition. "The Twist" is a heartrending depiction of Christ on the cross and "Art Carney's Dream" is a farce with one of the most beautiful refrains I've ever heard ("Then I caught sight of You/And Your beauty broke my heart"). The music itself defies classification. You really just have to hear it for yourself because I really have no way to describe it. "Nightmare at Elks Lodge" is an strange little ditty that oddly enough, sounds just like the title describes - slow lounge verses with an off time chorus. The atmosphere of the song makes me think of the game Bioshock. The guitar parts are filtered through some strange effects and Tim Chandler's bass seems a lot more upfront. Of course, since I think Tim Chandler is one of the most underrated bassists out there, this is only a good thing. I still amazed at how wonderful, poignant, and thrilling this album is. Highly, highly recommended!

Useless Fact: The band drops the silly nicknames they'd used on the previous album. OR this is a bunch of impostors if the liner notes to Sacred Cows are to be believed.


  1. I've always thought Zoom Daddy sounded like a misattributed Daniel Amos album. There's none of the silly humour of the first two Swirling Eddies albums (which probably confused a lot of the people that made the SW albums out-sell many DA albums). Even the funniest parts, on Zoom Daddy, seem serious with a sense of deep holy mystery). Nevertheless, it is yet another grossly underappreciated masterpiece by Terry Taylor & Co. It definitely defies catagorization, but that's true of any number of TT & Co. related projects (e.g., Fearful Symmetry, Darn Floor - Big Bite, et al).

    If memory serves, I once read that the music and song titles were written first, by the whole band, and Taylor had to write the lyrics to match (which, I think, makes the songs even more impressive -- not that they needed any help).

    I also completely agree with you about bassist Tim Chandler. He is criminally underrated. Heck, I think the whole band is sadly underappreciated.

  2. Glad you are enjoying it. I love reading the comments of your discovering this fantastic album. Keep in mind that this album came out at almost the exact same time as BIBLELAND (!!!) and I know I bought them together. The spring/summer of 1994 was TST overload.

    I still have the TRUE TUNE NEWS with the Taylor interview that tells how this one was made - basically him, Chandler, and Raven improvising music, naming the songs, and then Taylor writing the (superb)lyrics for them later off the tapes. Taylor plays almost all of the guitars. Sometime soon I need to edit the Wikipedia article on this one to include the information from that interview. ZOOM DADDY deserves far more attention that it has gotten over the years.

    Don't forget to get their newest record - THE MIDGET, THE SPECK, AND THE MOLECULE if you haven't yet.

  3. Not only have I not forgotten about it, I am currently awaiting its arrival in the mail! But the Daniel Amos store is just about the slowest one on the web...

  4. I always have problems getting my orders from the DA store too. I tend to only order from them if I absolutely have to because it takes so long. They were suppose to be fixing it somehow but it sounds like they haven't.

    Terry's lyrics are at a peak!

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