Help the Poor


Zeke are impeccable in their re-creation of the futility and guts of early-’80s indie hard rock. If you recall the Rods, or even if not, there’s always room at the bottom for more. As a bonus, Zeke are also proof of the pure milk of human kindness: The band took it upon themselves to push the Angry Amputees—Tums-worthy pop punk with a musician whose legs and fingers were digested by flesh-eating bacteria—on their vanity label, Dead Teenager.

Along with a couple of earlier releases, ‘Til the Livin’ End is how the West was lost: a graphic picture of a homeless man’s speedmetal band. It comes with a concert DVD videotaped at a dive, as did the previous Zeke disc to come across the desk, proving beyond doubt that Zeke listeners are a depressing bunch. For the last one, fans stuttered out idiocies, and were all men except for one or two—German fräuleins, as it turned out—who looked like men. The gals are now long gone, replaced by a drunk who probably never buys Zeke CDs, yelling for beer as if everyone hasn’t had enough.

However, ‘Til the Livin’ End does get the point across: Blind Marky Felchtone is Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll, a taciturn blade who pitilessly smashes his Les Paul while jabbering out speed count-offs and unhearable lyrics. Ramrod straight, implacable in delivery, in 20-to 30-minute shots, he’s a threadbare Lee Ermey of poverty-power-metal; if those in hearing distance aren’t beaten over, it’s because they’re barely conscious, not because he fails to rip a second asshole.

Zeke’s 15 new tunes go blitzing by as heavy polka for the commencing of a fistfight. There are many good to great slices of Felchtone—his usual maniacal Jimmy Page lash-up plus a handful of savage Motörhead-style riffs that Motörhead is too long in the tooth to pull off. Turn off the video from the free DVD; it’s better that way, “West Seattle Acid Party” being tops as both a title and a thrasher.