CD Review of Zookeeper by Zookeeper

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See their MySpace Profile Zookeeper:
starstarhalf starno starno star Label: bellecitypop!
Released: 2006

Lately, I’ve been feeling culturally insignificant. I’m not sure if it’s an illness or simply a seemingly loose grip on my heritage. Maybe my feeling of cultural insignificance is just a mild form of agoraphobia. Holy shit! I just spelled agoraphobia correctly on the first try! That would be totally awesome if I knew what agoraphobia meant. Nah, I’m a bright fella. Agoraphobia is when you have a fear of crowds and public places. Where is all of this going, you ask? Well, I get the feeling – however justified or unjustified – that the proprietor of Zookeeper (founder and helmsmen Chris Simpson) shares my aforementioned feelings, as this is his first offering since 2002. Ladies and gentlemen, 2002 was more than a few minutes ago.

So, this record by Zookeeper found its way to me in a rather odd way. Sometime in the middle of 2002, a drummer that I used to play with turned me onto a record by a band called the Gloria Record. Their album was titled Start Here. I fucking hate using the term emo, but Start Here was a rather dark record with emo-esque tendencies. However, Chris’ voice carried that record into areas that other “emo” bands of that time couldn’t come close to. But for whatever reason, after a while, that record kinda fell off my radar. Flash forward to me sitting at my computer searching music blogs for free mp3s and I ran across a post about the Gloria Record and the fact that Chris Simpson had a new record out under the moniker of Zookeeper. Needless to say, I was intrigued. No more than two hours later, I received a post from the dudes at Bullz-Eye that mentioned the Zookeeper record had just come in. I quickly scooped it up.

Now that I’ve put you to sleep with my fateful little anecdote, I’ll go ahead and review the record. I think it’s a fine record (actually it’s an EP. Baby steps, baby steps…). It rests in an ambiguous place that past efforts and alternate configurations almost purposefully avoided. However, this particular release really does feel somewhat timid and shy. Almost like he’s trying this out again for the first time. Well shit, it has been four years. Now, this is not to say that being timid is a bad thing. Actually, it’s rather refreshing in a sense. Maybe this EP is a foray into bolder and more striking tunes. Regardless, it’s enjoyable and catchy. Dude has been listening to a shit-ton of Beatles records. Good for him.

~Josh Preston