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Zeke

'Til the Livin' End (Relapse)

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If you've ever seen Zeke live, you know why its 2002 breakup was bound to be short-lived. These guys are the classic example of "Well, what else are they gonna do?" The remaining three members are proud lifers, neck tattoos and all. It is clearly in them to rock and only rock.

But unlike most aging bands, whose adherence to their guns is mainly the result of rusty buildup, Zeke continues to spit-shine its sound. What was once a Supersuckers Jr. has turned into a trashy speed-metal force that found its apex on 2002's Death Alley (Aces & Eights). On their return, they plunge further into the metal. The torrential opening trio of Motörheaded mayhem proves the layoff didn't force a major rethink. But it's such midtempo fist-pumpers as "Little Queen," "Hold Tight," and "Dolphenwulf" that have become their best punches.

The album's last two tunes grind down further -- for these speed demons, they almost qualify as psychedelic -- proving that Zeke's willing to start forging a different future. If they're still spinning their wheels, pity the fool who's in their way when they finally come unstuck.

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