Album Reviews

These are all excerpts from album reviews appearing April 1 through May 15, 2012:

THANK YOU, Everyone who has taken the time to write about the new band...  much appreciation.

"Dexterous musicianship and catchy pop writing are upgraded to hyper-reality... Zammuto
blasts us with musical particles in narrow, swarming beams; each grain rendered with
hallucinatory clarity...His joy upon discovering that he still had music to make is evident,
and highly contagious".  Brian Howe  -Pitchfork

"F U C-3PO: Best New Track"  -Pitchfork

"A lithe, spirited, and agreeable release, bursting with pop hooks. For all of Zammuto's
vocal and percussive tomfoolery, it has an emotional core. These tracks are ardent and
expressive when many current electronic musicians obfuscate or drench their messages in
pretension. Zammuto has the chops, but he never flaunts them in an off-putting manner. The
Books were all about constructing statements from the detritus of pop culture. Zammuto
excels at the opposite: deconstructing life into easily digestible songs that make you feel
something.  The spotlight has moved from the head to the heart with piebald flourish."

"Watching Nick Zammuto at his eco-ranch home in Vermont, one cannot help but be taken by the
heartfelt beauty of it all: Here’s the young dad grilling pizzas, playing with his children;
there’s his pregnant wife cutting a pie filled with homegrown blueberries. In family and in
music, the man once behind The Books is an auteur of authenticity, alternately (and at times
simultaneously) wedding opposites: playful and ponderous, analog and digital, organic and
synthetic, permanent and ephemeral, fuzzy and foreboding... Like the life it sprang from,
the album is a statement of self-sufficiency born of creative tensions, between man and
woman, people and land, performance and recording. Within these dualities, Zammuto has
created something whole." -Paste

"Video Review -   Nick Zammuto takes his penchant for playful experimentation to a full band setting.

Anthony Fontano - The Needle Drop

"This impressive album is another landmark addition to the post 2000 avant-pop oeuvre, in
every way the equal of Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz, Fol Chen or Cornelius. The players
really make their instruments sing and the editing process makes the listener double take as
to what could be real and what isn’t. Performances are shredded, re-composed, hollowed out
and turned upside down. Pieces are structured, non-repetitive and engrossing to listen to.
And joy of joys, there are even songs with lyrics which are smart. It’s overcoming the
challenge of keeping things that are incredibly complex sounding really simple and direct
that impresses us. Zammuto have bottled the sweet joy of becoming, and with what perfect
timing – spring is here, and the whole world suddenly feels laden with opportunity."
Julian Tardo - Bowlegs Music

"When Nick Zammuto and his wife Molly were preparing for the birth of their first child, they
ditched their overpriced Brooklyn apartment for a 16 acre plot of high meadow land in rural
Vermont.  Out behind the house sits a little shack that serves as Zammuto’s music studio.
And while this idyllic, down home setting may conjure up images of banjo pluckin’
hootenannies and campfire sing-a-longs, the sounds that emanate from this back woods shack
are of another order entirely...the most captivating songs speak to the incredible potential
of the project, and are among the more engaging that I’ve heard in quite some time."
Robert Alford  -Pop Matters

"We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some
of them...This is an expansive debut, unattached from the stylistic spine of The Books, Nick
Zammuto’s apparently gone a little crazy. It works."  Grayson Currin -The Onion AV Club

"The album begins with the ecstatically titled “YAY,” his soaring vocals chopped up into
thin slices of squeaky bursts accompanied by clanging drums. It’s a giddy opener that
signals this won’t be a post-breakup mope fest. Instead, Zammuto seems intent on showing
that for as brilliant as the Books could be, he was only scratching the surface of his own
musical interests within the group. No song overstays its welcome on the album, and a few
almost make you yearn for a more sprawling, indulgent director’s cut... This record feels
like a race to an unknowable destination."  Dan Jackson  -CMJ

"The full-band approach to Zammuto gives it a more immediately infectious, even danceable
sound than that of much of his prior work... Zammuto spends equal time in both complex,
nuanced human mode and in haywire, hyperactive robot mode. Yet the distance between the two
isn't as great as it might sound on paper. These four musicians' greatest strength, and one
that Nick Zammuto himself has spent a solid decade perfecting, is making the synthetic seem
organic, and vice-versa. It may be a step closer to living among Replicants, but Zammuto
should be applauded for tapping into a formula to overcome the uncanny valley."  -Treble

Breakfast at Sulimays: 

"Flexing new muscles and honing new skills without abandoning the basic love for words that
served as the joyful inspiration behind everything the Books put together. And it is,
itself, a joyful record, prickly and playful and sometimes downright bizarre, but never less
than welcoming. Perhaps most successfully, it stands entirely on its own."  Brent Able  
-Coke Machine Glow

"You can never quite get a hand on it and the moment you do there’s something totally out of place
and fascinating being thrown at you...super-funky... a great example of Zammuto’s ability to call
to mind multiple genres and still sound totally alien to all of them." - American Grotesque

"A damn fine album... The overall strength of Zammuto lies in its song-writing."  David
John Wood -No Ripcord

"Simply put, Nick Zammuto has released one the best albums of 2012."  -Etcetcetcetc

"Well, the transition worked better than anyone could have possibly imagined... What is
surprising is that the quality of his new self-titled release makes it so fans likely will
no longer feel like there has been something truly lost with the break-up of his once main
musical project... It is an inspiring album, that expands its listeners conception of what
pop music can and should be."  Mark Schiffer  -In Your Speakers

"Whether it be the schizophrenic balladry of Too Late To Topologize or the contorted futuro-
folk stylings of Harlequin the Books suddenly appears to be a prologue to the history
currently being emphatically scribed by this greatly eccentric introvert and with a
tangible, earthly joy returning to fertilise his work, that enviable childish naïveté may
bloom... entirely ceremonious shredding of rulebook; The Shape Of Things To Come slithers of
inordinate promise and uncompromising artistry."  -Dots and Dashes

"Potential singles are hardly a concern for Nick Zammuto... (the new band) retains the spirit
of humor, adventure, and experimentation his critically renowned former band The Books has
perfected over the past decade. This album is total sonic schizophrenia with a charmingly
high "huh?" factor: confusing, amusing, and consistently entertaining."  Marty Flanagan

"Zammuto represents a form of reaction to the dissolution of The Books from its creator, and
although such reactions are generally dour affairs relating to loss this is an album that
often fizzes with energy. This is an album that revels in the possibilities of a new and
uncertain future. The technical proficiency displayed is too obvious to ignore (but) away
from Zammuto’s obvious skill as a song crafter, the heart of this album is the drumming of
Sean Dixon which at times defies belief. He’s more than capable of providing a solid
backbeat when required to drive these songs along, but when he really cuts loose as on the
skittering jazz freakout of Weird Ceiling it can be mind boggling."   Sam Shepherd   -OMH

"an important part of The Books' success was that they knew how to use a novelty without
letting it turn into a gimmick. And luckily, Zammuto keeps that tradition alive... it takes the
work of a truly visionary musician to re-contextualizes it into a different genre, all while retaining
the qualities that made him such a celebrated sonic auteur in the first place."  Ryan Stanley -405

"An intelligent album of headphones music filled with warmth and soul. Zammuto sounds both
relieved and exhilarated by his newfound direction. Zammuto (the band) is a traditional
four-piece rock band set up with a guitarist, bassist, drummer and “multi instrumentalist.”
Sure, it doesn’t sound all that interesting, but their originality isn’t predicated upon
their component ingredients, but instead upon the compositions Zammuto has crafted. As a
result, the recipe pairs well with Kasey’s Avocado Toast with Poached Egg. All of the
ingredients in the recipe are pretty standard. Toast. Avocado. Poached Egg. But as an open-
faced sandwich, it’s unique and delicious primarily because of the way the ingredients are
put together. Like the album, it succeeds because it relies on excellent ingredients
thoughtfully combined.   -Turntable Kitchen

"Imagine a mixture of elements you love from Black Moth Super Rainbow/Tobacco, Beck, Laurie
Anderson, The Yes Album-era Yes, and that guy at the farmer’s market who stands there
playing music for loose change while everyone heads the other direction looking for zucchini
and corn...Zammuto is that uncool kid that you want to be down with because he knows better."
John Book -This Is Book's Music

"There are no trick pony’s here; Zammuto’s creativity has the ability to outlast anything the
Books ever put out... this may be the most creative and experimental album to emerge this
year."  -Team Hellions

"Listen to this album. It’s been on replay for me for the past four hours. Seriously. I know
that you aren’t really suppose to over-think this album, and rightfully so. Enjoy it for
what it sounds like and try not to be a d-bag like me and dissect it. It’s good and I would
recommend it to you." Nickwan -402 Productions

"The first time I heard The Books... my idea of music was dismantled and rebuilt...Now, when
I listen to Zammuto, I hear a Books album explored and expanded, refined and premeditated
over a decade. The Books was an incubator and Zammuto was the egg... Zammuto made an
experimental album that doesn’t expire. Prepare to give in to the percussive urgency,
melodic journeys and peculiar vocals. Leave your current collection in the truck of your car
in downtown Reno, place Zammuto on your shelf and see what happens next."
Erik Stabile  -Potholes in My Blog

"Rather than being a ‘music minus one’ presentation, a recording in which part of a
distinctive collaboration is sorely missed, Zammuto has a distinctive sound all its own. looks forward to many more interesting sounds from Nick Zammuto."  Christian Carey
-File Under

"Rooted in his new home in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, Nick Zammuto and his band
record and mix all of their music on their land. Nick Zammuto and his talented group of
family are in a state of self sufficiency musically from the rest, pushing a lush landscape
of cinematic pop into extremes of beauty never felt before...The drumming is incredible on
this debut, with Sean Dixon paving a new road for Nick and the rest of the group to play
on... Zammuto is a record we can’t get enough and one that we feel is pushing the evolution
of positive forward thinking exploratory music to even newer unseen heights." Erik Otis
-Sound Colour Vibration

"Zammuto is indeed the offspring of Books co-founder/songwriter Nick Zammuto, on a more solid
tact towards organic songwriting with huge dollops of that instinctive cut-up structuralism
that's achieved in a given Books song by the splicing of a galaxy's worth of found samples."
John Bail -Impose

Live Show Reviews

"Songs that merge the nimble, the knotty, the philosophical and the pensive, living up to song titles like 'Too Late to Topologize' and 'Idiom Wind...sometimes paired with videos. The clips were tours de force of editing, with every quick cut matched by the band’s music...
Mr. Zammuto hasn’t changed his mission, only his backup." - THE NEW YORK TIMES

"For the nascent Zammuto, the show displayed a preponderance of potential, that full-to-bursting new-band fervor." - HEY REVERB

"Zammuto is definitely worth checking out." - SLUG MAGAZINE

"Zammuto looks to be an exciting chronicle of an American remix master’s delightful experiments." - SSG MUSIC

"With the combination of a diverse range of samples of songs, acoustic instrumentation and a variety of other sounds heard in various situations, the musical style of Zammuto is unlike anything you’ve ever heard." - THE CALIFORNIA AGGIE

"The band only got to perform for a half-hour, but it was an arresting half-hour of turbulent sounds, accompanying visuals, and lovely craftsmanship." - LA MUSIC BLOG

"…something that both old-school organic music lovers and electro-philes alike can appreciate." - SF STATION

"Prepare to have your mind blown and ears ringing…" - DAVIS ENTERPRISE

"To say that Nick Zammuto is a musician would actually be cutting the guy short. He’s more of an inventor of undiscovered and yet-to-be-invented ways of creating sounds and then crafting them into picturesque songs." - KAFFEINE BUZZ


'The Homesteader'  Bill Orton  - Wunderkammer

'Natural Balance'  Steph Kretowicz  -The Quietus

'Denver Westword Interview'   Tom Murphy  -Westword

'Zammuto - Interview'   Julian Tardo  -Bowlegs

'...Homesteading, Failed Band Names, And Working Real Damn Hard'  Adam Coronado  -Stomping Grounds

'Zammuto's second act pays homage to his past'   Adam Coronado  -Current

'The Space Between'  John Kay - AQNB

'Portrait: Nick Zammuto'    Will Butler  -East Bay Express

'Nick Zammuto on the Very Busy Start to His 2012'   Tobias Carrol  -The L Magazine

'Nick Zammuto Talks About Ending the Books, Starting His New Project'   Ryan Dombal  -Pitchfork

Audio/Video Press and Interviews

'The Key: Zammuto Live on XPN2: Six Songs plus and Interview:'     -WXPN2