The foggy streets of San Francisco have long been the breeding ground for innovations in music, as well as technology. With this in mind, it is clear to see how San Fran rockers Ones And Zeros developed their unique sound. The band’s latest release, Perception Is, is a happy marriage of digital electronica and rock, which composes a vivid musical soundscape.
The CD begins with what sounds like turntable scratches, introducing the tune “Nothing Left.” But don’t get it wrong, this song is 100% rock, and features some of the most proficient guitar playing I’ve heard in a while. “Mind Run Free” is a radio-friendly offering that, with its catchy chorus and electronic background beats, can be described as Sound Garden meets God Lives Underwater. One of the slower, more introspective songs on the album is “Falling.” The lyrics are deep and true: “I’m feeling somewhat short of fine/ I think I finally lost my mind/ I think it’s gonna take some time/ Falling down on you like I’ve done so many times before.”
Many of the tracks on this CD can be described as smoky, and body-engulfing. This is especially true of the song “Why,” which is about getting older and pondering the meaning of life. The album shifts gears with track 7, called “Rose.” It is a jumpy, addictive tune that even features a brief rap. That’s right, rap. I guess even a band as innovative as Ones And Zeros can’t fight the urge to lay down a free-style. It is a song about a girl that “smells sweet,” like a rose, but has strong propensity to bend the lily.
If you’re in the mood for some fast rock, you may want to skip to “Push Down.” This track is fierce enough to start a mosh pit, if only the band’s electronic equipment wasn’t in the way. The album concludes with “Killing Time.” This tune has a laid-back, bluesy feel, sounding as if a Hammond B3 has been crammed into a Macintosh G3. The perfect song to crack a beer to and relax this summer.
The fusion of computers and guitars, Bill Gates and Chris Cornell, may not have been an obvious one. But as the band’s frontman, Jesse Zero, states, “We are just a reflection of this time we live in.”