Ohio based band, Moviola, have just released their latest single, Zero Sum, and we here at the Send Me Your Ears studio have been taking a listen today.
Zero Sum is a three minute blast of energy that comes straight in with electric guitar and drums that just keep building until the vocals come in. Zero Sum is essentially a “social criticism”; “People really plan to take it
Anything they grab
And it’s poker game as life that they’re on.”
With a repeated guitar riff throughout the track which often dominates the vocals, but in a way that forces you to lean into the hook and pay attention. A kind of jangly pop commentary that would sit comfortably alongside the likes of CCR or Neil Young.
There’s some interesting layered background vocals that help fill out the sound and make it feel more like an authentic track from the 70s perhaps.
Zero Sum has a really interesting a capella ending with the lead vocalist wailing some high head voice notes and several lower voices backing it up with various “oohs” and “aahs”
From a production perspective, a boost around 60Hz would give more thump to the kick drum which we feel isn’t cutting through the track. A cut around 110Hz would balance out a peaking frequency in the bass which brings a certain ‘boominess’ to the track. A boost around 200Hz would add some warmth to that area and make the track sound a little fuller. A cut around 2-2.5kHz would reduce some harsh tones in the guitar tracks and finally a boost in the high mids and highs centred around 8-9kHz would add some brightness and clarity. We felt that the snare drum is a little weak throughout. It sounds like only an under snare mic was used. Adding a mic to the top of the drum as well would allow more ‘pop’ and attack to come through. Careful to check phase though!
Moviola’s, Zero Sum, is definitely a track for fans of Neil Young, CCR, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Bob Dylan. A song that punches in powerfully and grabs your attention immediately. This truly feels like an authentic old school song that’s been transported from the 1970s.