Can a piece of music sound thoroughly retro and entirely of the moment at the same time? Not if you believe the premise of that Retromania book from last year, with all of its pop-culture-is-over hand-wringing. Let’s call out that foolish book once and for all, shall we? I mean, good lord: no one knows what the future will bring based on present circumstances. And there’s always a lot of less-than-terrific stuff floating around in pop-culture-land. To assume everything has now ground to a halt is the height of baby boomer narcissism.
In any case, no one could possibly convince me that a song as sharp and well-presented as “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” represents anything but pop culture at its finest. If the musical setting is all 1970s, if the lead singer even sounds oddly like the guy in Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride,” anyone?), what of it? This is one groovy tune, from the fuzzy/flangey guitar to the stop-start melodic momentum to the (yes) cowbell to, what the heck, all the other guitar sounds as well. Special props go out to that connective, lower-register riff we hear in the chorus, first at 0:59; retro my ass, that thing is just timeless rock’n’roll, sports fans. This song was made to be blaring out of your car radio, especially if you happen to be driving maybe a Buick Skylark.
Zeus is a four-man band from Toronto that has otherwise in recent years been doing business as Jason Collett’s backing band. “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” is a track from their second full-length album, Busting Visions, which arrives next month on the Arts & Crafts label. MP3 via Magnet Magazine. For those interested—and who shouldn’t be?—Rolling Stone has a free & legal MP3 of another new Zeus song, here.