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All hail ’80s metal: A Zeroking review

By Staff | Dec 28, 2011

Anyone familiar with the late 1980s music scene will understand what I am talking about when I mention “hair bands,” such as Poison and Motley Crue.

Another band in the same vein is Zeroking, a metal band hailing from Huntington. Even though they are not an ’80s hair band, they have perfected the “hair metal-type” sound in their album, “A Taste of Self Destruction.”

If you are feeling nostalgic and just want to rock out, this album is definitely for you. I can’t believe I just used the words nostalgic and rock out in the same sentence.

Zeroking is a band that I would have listened to when I was in middle school. It reminds me a lot of bands like Skid Row.

Even the name of the band’s latest album brings to mind the Guns N’ Roses album, “Appetite for Destruction.”

To be honest, Zeroking doesn’t hold a candle to recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Guns N’ Roses. However, I do hear many influences throughout this album and I do appreciate the homage to these bands that have been, in some people’s eyes, all washed up.

Remember when the grunge scene took over in the ’90s, making hair metal bands a joke? I remember being in the eighth grade, listening to metal the likes of Zeroking and not a year went by, all of a sudden, it became uncool. So I conformed as far as disliking metal bands with this sound.

Did that make me a sellout? Absolutely! Am I ashamed of selling out? Yes I am. Staying true to what you like is something I have learned over the years. Who cares what anyone else thinks?

Now twenty-some odd years later, I have a reminder of my youth right here in “A Taste of Self Destruction.” I am keeping it real. What I appreciate about the band is how they seem to be staying true to their influences that were once considered a joke – might even still be considered a joke by some. I myself am guilty of seeing Sebastian Bach on some VH1 Classic program and giggling at him thinking “Wow! Get over it and grow up.” I gotta hand it to him though, he is staying true to the scene. To those that are not familiar, Bach was the lead singer for Skid Row and apparently has not changed much over the years.

OK, enough about Skid Row and more on Zeroking. I highly recommend this album to anyone who wants to go out and hear some raw ’80s-style metal.

After listening to the album, which consists of a mere five tracks and can be found on iTunes for only $5, I cannot help but get nostalgic for the music from my youth.

I also came across a standout track while searching iTunes called “Celebrity,” from the band’s “The Sweet Sale of Excess” debut EP. To me, this is the band’s best work. I don’t know what the appeal is but the sound on “Celebrity” is distinctly different from the lastest effort. For anyone who is interested, the song can be streamed on the website www2.mixposure.com/Zeroking.

When it comes down to it, though, Zeroking’s “A Taste of Self Destruction” is not really my thing these days. However, my 13-year-old self would appreciate it. I witnessed the real thing growing up in the ’80s. It is hard for me to contrast and compare.

Zeroking offers a taste of the era for those people who are not familiar or never had the privilege of growing up during that time.

I would rate it a 6 out of 10. It is what it is. Hair metal. I just want to hear more distinction; I do appreciate hearing the influences though.

If you think Zeroking might be your thing, by all means, go to a show. I saw a few live performances on YouTube and, honestly, they do seem to put on a terrific show. I would love to be an audience member to see how they incorporate all the sounds of metal along with the animations that are attached to this style of music. You know, whipping your hair, raising your devil horns. Come to think of it, I am long overdue for such an experience.