Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer - The Khyber, 4/03/09
My new favorite band is the best band I found at SXSW that I didn't actually see at SXSW. Philadelphia's Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer has been on tour supporting The Pink Spiders since SXSW ended, the tour concluded tonight at The Khyber in Philadelphia with an early start all ages show. At SXSW in attempt to survey all possibilities, I carefully scanned the band list in alphabetical order. With close to 1,900 bands on the list this took weeks, and by the time I got to the end of the list and heard Zolof's "Death or Radio" they had already played their SXSW showcase. So stretching a little bit of SXSW back to Philadelphia was imperative.
Listen to Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer - "Death or Radio"
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer consists primarily of Vince Ratti and Rachel Minton and live they add a drummer and I think there was a bass player tonight too who I could not see within the tight confines of The Khyber's upstairs venue, and I use the word venue loosely. The Kiera Plan opened with a tight twenty minute set, apparently shortened somewhat due to the extra hour it took to hook up the Khyber's PA system to the microphones. Zolof seemed like they'd be a fun rock & roll band, their song has been spinning in repeat play in my head ever since I first heard it in Austin, and they did not disappoint.
At one point Rachel's keyboard went out, and The Pink Spiders came onstage to sing the keyboard part.
Zolof rocks loudly and tunefully and the combination of Vince's guitar, Rachel's keyboards and vocals, and their well-written songs makes for a great synth-based sound on record which comes across even more powerfully live. The crowd, squeezed into the small area in front of the stage, bounced up and down in unison with the band, and the mix of catchy songs, exuberant performance and crowd energy makes Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer about the most fun a rock band can be. Together with Philadelphia's The Hustle and Brooklyn's Via Audio, Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer is going to help keep me young.
Later in the set, Rachel called on Soupy, lead singer of The Wonder Years to come up and sing.
Soupy doffed his coat, sang, did some extreme jumping up and down, sang some more, then put his coat back on and left the stage before the song was over.
Zolof has a must-read bio that begins:
Vince Ratti met Rachel Minton in summer camp in 2000. Vince was the 2-1 favorite in the potato sack races and Rachel had made a name for herself as the braces and headgear wearing champion of the "who can swing the highest on the tire swing" competitions. They crossed paths for the first time at the Good Humor Ice Cream truck where they both ordered Sno-cones. "I like to rock" said Vince. "I like to rock too" said Rachel. At that moment Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer was born...
Read the rest of their story on the website. Apparently they have a sense of humor too.
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer - Schematics (2007)
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer's myspace.
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer's website.