Zookeeper – Zookeeper

Zookeeper
Zookeeper

Zookeeper marks the return of established Austin, Texas indie personality Chris Simpson. This five song EP is meant to whet appetites leading up to a full length release. Instead the material sounds uninspired.

This criticism is supported by the band’s Myspace blog in which Simpson admits that the band has “no clear vision” and that they are relying on spontaneity and magic in the recording process to attract attention. Most telling is the claim that almost 40 songs have been written and recorded; this sounds like the time Rivers Cuomo went into seclusion for a few years, struggled and wrote piles of songs in hopes of rediscovering his muse, later emerging only to release a slew of crappy Weezer albums.

Fortunately, Zookeeper is not crappy. Chris has a great voice and the chord progressions are tried but true. The recordings sound loose, but if there is magic happening, then I’m not feeling it.

What comes across is not inspired music, but rather the premature efforts of a talented musician and songwriter who, during a musical hiatus, heard some great indie music and decided he was going to give it another shot. Nothing wrong with that, but the good stuff is going to take a little more time.

The best track by far is number 3, “Flood of Love”, an expanding sonic star that really shows Zookeeper’s potential. On the whole, this material is decent but unremarkable, and there is too much gold out there to recommend Zookeeper right now. But their best is yet to come.