ZIG-ZAGS: THEY’LL NEVER TAKE US ALIVE
They’ll Never Take Us Alive
When the apocalypse is nigh, that final Paul Revere ride won’t just be somebody shouting that ruin is on the way. Instead, they’ll be playing Zig-Zags at pulverizing volume. It’ll be the birth of a whole new world where desolation replaces order, and Zig-Zags will be playing the inauguration—the inauguration of the end. With They’ll Never Take Us Alive, Zig-Zags have created a perfect and compelling concept album centered on ‘the end’—some kind of end, either at our own or alien hands. Or maybe it’s all the same. The album is an unceasing force prodding the listener forward with pitchforks at their back, with nothing but the deepest darkness ahead. The music runs you blindly through underground labyrinths with no sense of orientation. It reminds me of the graphics on the original Jeff Kendall Santa Cruz board: godlike hands splitting the earth in two, with the molten core exploding into space. Zig Zags deal in that kind of destruction. The guitars obliterate everything in their path, and the bass is a sinking battleship hull cratering the sea floor. The drums hammer at the chest cavity a catastrophic heart attack. It begins with “Punk Fucking Metal,” an introduction like taking a hit of speed at 4 am, and its runs the course from come-up to come-down. “God Sized” is the perfect ending to the high—the uneasy satisfaction in what just was endured. Listening to Zig-Zags is probably the equivalent of surrendering to the torture of the heretic’s fork, and They’ll Never Take Us Alive is a fight to the death. It keeps with the tradition of metal but adds a unique take on the genre—no, fuck that. It makes me want to place my hand in the fire, throw trashcans through windows, to be the catalyst in demolition and not a bystander. The creator, not the casualty. That’s what Zig-Zags’ third album induces in a listener. So take that dose.