Heavy music is alive and well in the Bay Area! Zed Came through Austin a week or so ago, and I had already listened to them on Spotify so I wasn’t surprised by what they played. I was expecting a good show and they delivered one. The surprise for me was the intensity they brought. Live shows play out differently for different bands as a rule- some are better than others. ZED is a band that you must see alive to appreciate! I am not slighting their recording work at all, on the contrary. “Trouble in Eden,” their most recent release, bites like an alligator, drives with the subtlety of a jackhammer, and is a slow-burning bootleg moonshine that keeps the crowd coming back for more shots! Take this nasty concoction and enforce it with the skillful riffage of Greg Lopez and Pete Sattari – on guitar, not to mention Sattari’s vocals (which meander between soulful Delta-Blues and guttural rages) are intrinsically, and skillfully, woven into each song.  Rich Harris’ drumming is power-driven yet his fills and transitions are intricate enough to raise the eyebrows of other drummers-It’s true, I saw it!  The low-end is trucked in by Mark Aceves, whose punk and metal influences shine through in his rapid fingerwork and aggressive stage presence (just check out his vest-  it’s respectable!). His soulfulness is no less obvious when called for though. These guys have a deep respect for Clutch as revealed to me by Aceves over a couple of Lone Stars. While that respect might place them loosely in that vein, they own their own sound and it sounds GOOD! Please come back to Austin!