Zero's self-titled fifth album is their second collaboration with the Grateful Dead's songwriter Robert Hunter. This phenomenal work showcases the music diversity of the band as well as Hunter's brilliant lyrics. The album's upbeat opening number "Pit o' Thunder" is a hard-driving blues-rock tune about racing. Songs like this are balanced out with the psychedelic ballad "Spoken Four," which ends with a brilliant spiraling guitar solo by Steve Kimock. The album also tackles political issues with the song "Possession." It has more of a grunge rock feel than most of the group's other work. The lyrics take aim at the problems of mandatory sentencing on drug charges: "I never had a nose for crime/But someone passed a joint one day/Now I'm doing federal time." In the years before Zero joined up with Hunter they were mainly an instrumental outfit, but for this album they only included two, the traditional Latin song "Sun, Sun, Sun" and the group's own "Kissing the Boo-boo." Zero contains no weak tracks and is definitely one of the artistic high points of Zero's career.
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AllMusic Review by Curtis Zimmermann