If you play this Zipper LP often enough, you just might see some gold through the roughage. It’s certainly an acquired taste – that’s for sure!
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Whizeagle Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Fred Cole – vocals, guitars * Jim Roos – guitars * Greg Shadoan – bass * Lorry Erk – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Bullets * 02 Born Yesterday * 03 The Same Old Song * 04 Face Of Stone * 05 Ballbustin’ Woman * 06 Scars * 07 Rollin’ And Tumblin’ * 08 Worry Kills A Woman * 09 Let It Freeze * 10 Behind The Door * 11 Racing For A Dollar
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Fred Cole is the main man of this shortlived band from Portland Oregon. Through the sixties, Cole was a member of countless bands – too many to name here. He flitted with many of the styles of the day/era, and perhaps it was The Lollipop Shoppe that earned Cole a bit of notoriety. That band was modelled very much on Arthur Lee & Love, and they seemed to create a storm everywhere they went – even being banned from certain towns!
Having played everywhere along the West Coast, and having lived in the outback of Yukon for a year or more, Cole along with his wife and kids, eventually returned to his wife’s hometown of Portland to settle down for a bit – starting up a music business called Captain Whizeagle. During 1973, he formed Zipper with the above named musicians, releasing a sole album on the appropriately named Whizeagle Records. There is some debate out there on the Net as to when this was released. Most say 1975, but I believe it came out the year before in 1974.
Zipper’s music retains much of Cole’s obtuse 60’s and psychedelic leanings, crossed with the hard rock vigour of Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk and The Rolling Stones. Vocally, this is about as oddball as you can get.
The opener ‘Bullets’ contains some of the most overtly sexually provocative lyrics you’ll hear this side of the black stump.. ‘gonna stuff my face in your swimming hole, stroke it so hard gonna break my pole..’ Err right Fred.. lol! Thank god the vocals are caught behind a backwash of fuzztone guitar
‘Born Yesterday’ sees Fred doing the Mick Jagger thing, his twisted vocals wrapped around more thick laden fuzzy rhythm guitar. More ‘Stones’ induced blues results in ‘The Same Old Song’. There’s plenty of flanger to be found on ‘Face Of Stone’ which reminds you of early Nazareth, not so on ‘Ballbustin’ Woman’, which is another fuzzbox fuelled rocker that traverses the soundscape like a free radical!
‘Scars’ is a slower tempo effort that carries a lot of bottom end, whereas ‘Rollin’ And Tumblin’ lives up to its title. ‘Worry Kills A Woman’ and ‘Let It Freeze’ both slide into slower blues territory a la Hendrix and Trower, and for something different, Zipper drop into acoustic mode for the folky ‘Behind The Door’. Closing the album is the Credence Clearwater Revival sounding rocker ‘Racing For A Dollar’ which will confound the pundits even more!
If you play this back often enough, you just might see some gold through the roughage. It’s certainly an acquired taste – that’s for sure! Zipper didn’t last beyond a year, though Cole did turn up later in the decade with King Bee and The Rats. You should be able to pick this up on a 70’s vinyl related blogsite out there somewhere.
Ball Bustin’ Woman