Zeke

Death Alley

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Even after a solid stretch of similarly themed and arranged albums, Zeke's Death Alley begins with the premise that fast is just not fast enough. This, the band's fifth full-length, continues full throttle, utilizing the band's essential formula -- a manic, methamphetamine lab distillation of early American hardcore and classic rock. A plausible argument could be mounted that Zeke has grown -- by this album -- bankrupt of ideas, merely rehashing a prescribed methodology. And it could also be stated that Zeke has determined -- willed, even -- that to be the case. The pacing of the tracks, and the exceptionally brief space allotted for air between them, is exhausting. Even though there are a handful of mid-paced tunes ("Arkansas Man," for instance) -- most of which seem dangerously close to re-arranged Motorhead songs, Death Alley screams along in a self-imposed and governed battle to see which guitar player can play noodly leads the fastest. What has improved over the two preceding discs is the production. Having engineered the band's first outing, Super Sound Racing, the team of Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton, both of the band All, have zeroed in on the guitar and drum tone with a dense, crisp edge. Truly, this disc sounds remarkable. Zeke excels at what it does, and by most employment standards, that is the essence of a job done right. Speed, speed, and more speed. A fine disc.

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