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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Zipper - 1974 Zipper
Zipper - 1974 Zipper

ARTIST: Zipper
ALBUM: Zipper
LABEL: Whizeagle Records
SERIAL: W-0001
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: 1994, Wayback Records, MMCD 66017


LINEUP: Fred Cole - vocals, guitars * Jim Roos - guitars * Greg Shadoan - bass * Lorry Erk - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bullets * 02 Born Yesterday * 03 The Same Old Song * 04 Face Of Stone * 05 Ballbustin' Woman * 06 Scars * 07 Rollin' And Tumblin' * 08 Worry Kills A Woman * 09 Let It Freeze * 10 Behind The Door * 11 Racing For A Dollar

Fred Cole is the main man of this shortlived band from Portland Oregon. Through the sixties, Cole was a member of countless bands - too many to name here. He flitted with many of the styles of the day/era, and perhaps it was The Lollipop Shoppe that earned Cole a bit of notoriety. That band was modelled very much on Arthur Lee & Love, and they seemed to create a storm everywhere they went - even being banned from certain towns! Having played everywhere along the West Coast, and having lived in the outback Yukon for a year or more, Cole along with his wife and kids, eventually returned to his wife's hometown of Portland to settle down for a bit - starting up a music business called Captain Whizeagle. During 1973, he formed Zipper with the above named musicians, releasing a sole album on the appropriately named Whizeagle Records. There is some debate out there on the Net as to when this was released. Most say 1975, but I believe it came out the year before in 1974.

The Songs
Zipper's music retains much of Cole's obtuse sixties and psychedelic leanings, crossed with the hard rock vigour of Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk and The Rolling Stones. Vocally, this is about as oddball as you can get. The opener 'Bullets' contains some of the most overtly sexually provocative lyrics you'll hear this side of the black stump.. 'gonna stuff my face in your swimming hole, stroke it so hard gonna break my pole..' Err right Fred.. lol! Thank god the vocals are caught behind a backwash of fuzztone guitar. 'Born Yesterday' sees Fred doing the Mick Jagger thing, his twisted vocals wrapped around more thick laden fuzzy rhythm guitar. More 'Stones' induced blues results in 'The Same Old Song'. There's plenty of flanger to be found on 'Face Of Stone' which reminds you of early Nazareth, not so on 'Ballbustin' Woman', which is another fuzzbox fuelled rocker that traverses the soundscape like a free radical! 'Scars' is a slower tempo effort that carries a lot of bottom end, whereas 'Rollin' And Tumblin' lives up to its title. 'Worry Kills A Woman' and 'Let It Freeze' both slide into slower blues territory a la Hendrix and Trower, and for something different, Zipper drop into acoustic mode for the folky 'Behind The Door'. Closing the album is the Credence Clearwater Revival sounding rocker 'Racing For A Dollar' which will confound the pundits even more!

In Summary
If you play this back often enough, you just might see some gold through the roughage. It's certainly an acquired taste - that's for sure! Zipper didn't last beyond a year, though Cole did turn up later in the decade with King Bee and The Rats. You should be able to pick this up on a 70's vinyl related blogsite out there somewhere.

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#1 | Eric on July 27 2008 21:32:03
hmm... where did this come from? Never heard this record, but as it happens The Lollipop Shoppe album is reissued this month on Rev-Ola.
#2 | dangerzone on September 16 2008 08:45:48
I was planning on reviewing this once upon a time but it fell by the wayside. Nice one George!dog
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