Number 31 on my countdown of Top 40 albums is Who Killed…… The Zutons? by the British Rock group The Zutons. My introduction to The Zutons came from a baseball video game of all places. EA Sports’ MVP Baseball 2005 had The Zutons’ only United States hit, “Pressure Point” as part of its nine song soundtrack.
MVP Baseball 2005 is my all time favorite video game, and I have logged at least 400 hours playing it, meaning I have probably heard this game’s nine song soundtrack a strong 50+ times. I got tired of every song on that game EXCEPT “Pressure Point.”
Fast forward five years to my senior year of high school. I hear my friend, Hunter, singing “ha-oo-oo-oo,” and I excitedly exclaim that I love that song! He asked if I heard any of their other music, and I had not. The next day, he burned me a copy of their debut album, Who Killed…… The Zutons? and, it was/is fantastic! The Zutons have a distinct, raw, rock n roll sound with very recognizable guitar distortion, the use of a saxophone, and a general fun/upbeat-ness. For example:
Rock n roll aside, one of my favorite things about The Zutons is their country music influence. Many of their songs fall under a genre I like to call, “Faux Country,” which is essentially pop/rock music disguised as country music. British bands have been doing wonders for this made up genre of mine since the 60s including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The idea of mixing American Country music with British pop/rock has lasted through the generations and is manifest in The Zutons in songs such as…
In closing, this album is a prime example of capturing a sound. The Zutons are not a band packed with instrumental talent. However, they have perfected the art of crafting a raw sound around a unique and catchy songwriting style. Basically, it just super fun to listen to. It is hard to put a finger on what exactly makes this album so special, but it is beyond a shadow of a doubt a must listen record.