Posted: April 29, 2016 in MUSIC
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Zero Disorder and his new gem of an album Swim. I have a sort of back and forth relationship with the website but I will admit that some of the best lo-fi pop and rock records (both in musicality and in meaning) come out of Bandcamp . So I was absolutely thrilled to stumble upon this record from the Public Alley Record’s signee.

Although the record comes in at only 25 minutes, Zero Disorder packs a lot of meaning and emotion into such a short album. Tackling topics of ambition, conformity, and the absurd, Swim is not as light and fun as its instrumentals may lead you to think. Straight from the opening track “Coffee Every Morning” vocalist Joey Disorder sings “Get in your car / It’s new / Stare at yourself  / That’s you.” The idea of conformity and the anxiety of living in mediocrity, through society’s constructions, permeate through this entire album. The themes range from the first track where Joey is  making fun of conforming careers and working, to songs like “Swim” where he vocalizes his fears about failing in his own goals and dreams. He sings, “I stepped into my old ideas and goals / What happens if I’m not prepared to go? / I’m wondering if I will sink or swim.” The album comes off as a coming-of-age, as cliche as that sounds. Joey is torn between what he wants in his life, as mediocrity seems conforming, but so is fame. Joey works through the idea of what authenticity, how do we gain it and how do we maintain it in a society that bogs down the individual and anything deviant?

Every song on this record acts as either a critique of the mundane, of stardom, or the recognition of difference. He looks at the stories of “Jane” and “Tommy”, individuals on the outside of society either hiding their difference or proud of their uniqueness. The album is incredibly thorough in its message, flowing and moving this critique flawlessly from track to track. It’s one of the most comprehensive albums I’ve seen in a while. Even the cover, an alien in its UFO, fits in with the message of finding your way in a society that seems fake and overrated.

Along with this overall critique, the pure musicality of Swim is not to go unnoticed. Under Joey’s almost deadpan vocals, the instrumentals really shine through and take this record to another level. Unless someone told me, I would’ve never thought the arrangements on this record were recorded in Joey’s bedroom. They are clear, rich, and masterfully done. All around, this record offers listeners a skillfully executed message both lyrically and musically — It’s simply a great album. Unfortunately, all of Zero Disorder’s cassettes are sold out,

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