Emerging Artists: Heavy Petting Zoo

avatars-000057500796-na1eiz-cropHAILING from Swansea, the gritty Garage Rock band Heavy Petting Zoo are one of the most promising acts to come out of Wales in recent years. The band created a storm at Hubfest and Swn Festival, both in Cardiff, and has attracted the attention of the likes of BBC Radio Wales, Huw Stephens and the NME. Comparisons range from Savages and The Horrors to Quentin Tarantino movies and, once you hear their music, you’ll see why.

Comprising of Amy Zachariah on vocals, Ben Rodway on guitar, Joe Rees on bass, Billy Horwood on drums, the band, along with their live dancer simply known as Jon, give a confident swagger to their music, dominating the listener with punchy bass lines and fuzzy guitar. With only two tracks readily available to listen to, the band know how to keep their audience begging for more, but what the band have recorded is marvellous.

Lead single ‘Broken Bone’ is a fast paced punk number, with a crunchy guitar part, and great layered vocals. When the break down kicks in, you see why this band are compared to a Tarantino film. Rodway’s slightly bluesy guitar over Horwood’s primal drum beats is something to behold, building the atmosphere perfectly. B-Side, ‘Hunger’, is just as good as ‘Broken Bone’. With a slower, brooding tempo, Amy Zachariah’s vocals are provocative and powerful and compliment the musical atmosphere brilliantly.

With these great tracks comes great stage persona. Along with their dancer Jon, Heavy Petting Zoo produces a ‘devil may care’ performance, where Zachariah will often join Jon in artsy and psychedelic dancing. At one point during their performance at Hubfest, the two began a conga line during one of Rodway’s howling guitar solos. The band’s enthusiasm for performing is evident, and passion seeps out of every pore. It’s surprising that this band haven’t been picked up sooner, but hopefully we’ll begin to hear more tracks, and maybe even an album in the next year from Swansea’s finest.