Zweng- “Needle” Review in NeuFutur Magazine

Zweng – Needle (CD EP) / 2011 Self /

The emotional opening of the Needle EP will immediately catch the minds and hearts of anyone listening in. This is not only due to Zweng’s vocals but the arrangements that are present here. There are a multitude of different layers that work to highlight the vocals, and give listeners simultaneously a high replay value for the disc’s three tracks. Zweng moves through alternative, pop-rock, and alt-country all in the space of four minutes. With a little bit of piano and choral vocals added into the mix, what results here is an epic track conceived, executed, and finished all in the course of four minutes.

“Morning After” is the middle track on the EP, and it allows Zweng to switch into a more funky, trippy type of headspace. While Zweng’s vocals are still the defining presence on this part of the Needle EP, I feel that each piece present here unites into a fulfilling and impressive composition. With a set of vocals that approaches that of a Sean Lennon or Conor Oberst, the styles and influences that are touched upon during each of the EP’s cuts speak to a decidedly different type of fan base. This EP ends with “City Something”, a track that I feel gives listeners the most honest and touching side to Zweng’s psyche.

“City Something” has a slower and more introspective feel that resounds loudly long after the disc closes up. Taken together, the three tracks on the Needles EP provide listeners with a solid appreciation of who Zweng is, where he has been, and it will only be a matter of time until they are provided with where he will go in the next few years. The only thing that I know is that the Needle EP is solid, and will be a title that stays in the player until new music is released from his side of things.

Top Tracks: Needle, Morning After

Rating: 8.6/10

-James McQuiston Editor, (print magazine)Editor, (e-magazine)

(This article will be featured in the September Issue of Neufutur Magazine, so stay tuned.)

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Zweng- “Needle” Review From Music Emissions

Taking its name from its founder, Ryan, Zweng also comprises Jonathan Hakakian, Patrick Morgan and Steve Riley. So far then, there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary, and yet, once you hear the band’s latest self-released EP, Needle, you begin to detect that there may be something more here than just the usual collection of musical wannabees playing generic indie rock of the style scores of thousands of other bands are doing and, frankly, boring the pants off anyone who is looking for a bit of musical variety.

Don’t get me wrong, this EP is not going to break new musical boundaries, taking you where no one has gone before. That is not the point. What will happen, though, is that you will discover that a combination of influences can be drawn together in a new and interesting way to create something which, on the surface sounds familiar, yet underneath is very far removed from it. It has a nice lo-fi feel to it though it is clear that effect is created rather than grown organically from the paucity of professional production.

Straight away, the clearest connection you can make is withPrince. It is indefinable, but it is as if the Purple One had decided to play the music he wanted to play, anonymously, to see if anyone would still like him. The opening, title track, brings with it a sense of Death Cab for Cutie, perhaps even Yo La Tengo as well, and kicks off the EP with a sombre sounding voice and acoustic guitar which gradually morphs into a brighter track with a light and airy feel carrying with it still a hint of something menacing. “Morning After” brings out the best in Ryan Zweng’s voice and has probably the best lyrics of the three tracks on the EP. “City Something” is probably the best of the three overall. Vocal harmonies lead into a track which, heavy in echo, gradually builds into an almost anthemic song which has something of the Built to Spill about it and has the feel of a lonely night wandering the still busy streets.

In the end, you are left wanting a bit more than the EP offers in only three tracks. There is some good music here, music which prompts the listener to search out more by the band. This is not your usual bog-standard indie rock and for that really deserves a wider audience.

Reviewed by: Charles Martel on 2011-08-09.

The full article can be view this article at Music Emmisons

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Notes From Needle (Part 1) by ZWENG available for DownLoad

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New Zweng Band Date: LA, Friday June 24th

Zweng Art. Paintings in Progress for Pancakes and Booze Art Show LAZWENG BAND at Pancakes and Booze Art Show FaceBook Event Page

Friday, June 24 at 8:00pm – June 26 at 2:00am
LOT 613
613 IMPERIAL Street
Los Angeles, CA
Created By
Tom Kirlin
More Info



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New Video with Zweng and the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars at Hear Color Music Studios

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Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars set to record with Hear Color Music Studios and Zweng

While in LA for their upcoming show at The Mint on May 3rd, the legendary Sierra Leone Refugee  All-Stars will be checking into Hear Color Music Studios, to lay down tracks for their latest single, under the guise of Grammy-Winning producer Jonathan Hakakian (Silent Scream of Gulls).

For more, tune into the Zweng Music Facebooks page.


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New Zweng Band Shows Announced


New shows announced for Zweng Band at the Roxy LA, May 27th.  More info to come. Also,check out current photos and samples from rehearsals with Zweng on Facebook and at our Zweng Band Tumblr Page.

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New Music and Shows in works for Zweng Band

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