Zinny J. Zan

City Boy Blues

The Metallian

Zinny J Zan is the Swedish former singer for Shotgun Messiah and Easy Action who after a lengthy absence from the scene has now returned with the release of City Boy Blues via Fastlane Records. With a little help from a couple of old Shotgun Messiah colleagues and Motorhead’s Mickey Dee, Zinny’s album comes across as a mixture of Thin Lizzy, Tesla and the The London Quireboys. Pay special attention to that first name for it’s a comparison which will come up often. City Boy Blues has a nice sound and manages to be melodic without coming across as forced. It’s “Sweden-gone-L.A.-glam” which oddly enough, not having a bio, comes across as if fronted by two singers. One of whom sounds like a dead ringer for Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, while the other has a less bluesy vice. This boy kicks off the blues with the title track which is a song where the singer sounds particularly close to Lynott, Grin ‘n’ Bear It is more of a crossover L.A. tune which sports a solid hard-rocking rhythm. The leads are fluid and the backing vocals harmonic. This is a fun song which rocks. Love Is Like Fire gives a nod to both Aerosmith and Kix. It is a slower track about the time-honoured ‘baby.’ Are those slide guitars in the background? Hollywood is completely Thin Lizzy again. The song has cool leads. This is followed by I Believe, a more straightforward rocker whose vocal phrasings are actually reminiscent of Big Country. The solo is soulful and wailing.

For Your Rights is right next and has a sleazier melody. It is slower and has a message about freedom of speech. Is that Axl himself singing back up on this one? Point Of No Return picks up the pace again with its kick-off ominous riff. It goes on to explode into a hard-edged riff. The vocals too are sharp and angry on this song. Lost Generation is another commercial up-tempo hard rocker with Lynott on vocals – just can’t get over this – and has more intelligent lyrics about self-empowerment. This one is catchy as hell. Reach For The Sky comes, ironically, with a more gloomy beginning. This sad power ballad would have been on heavy rotation on M$TV were this 1987. Those vocal harmonies present two distinct styles throughout this (nearly) six-minute song. The song before last is called Blow By Blow and is a weaker composition. The vocals are semi-rapped and the power chords, although later lightened by a solo reminiscent of George lynch, are primitive overall. The boy comes to a stop with the song Wild As A Rose. This bud is both slower and bluesier. Slide guitars and acoustic guitars mingle for an effect reminiscent of an unplugged Tesla crossed with Aerosmith. Like it or not, the courage of this material is undeniable.

Ali “The Metallian”