Here at A Cappella Records, we like to brag that we’ve seen it all – from hip-hop to country, 1920s showtunes to heavy metal. However, nothing could’ve prepared us for what we faced when Ryan Zim walked into our then-Santa Cruz, CA office. Zim, under his artist moniker Vocal Steak, has taken the human voice to its edge and turned its audience on its ear.
This isn’t your dad’s a cappella; it has about as much in common with a line of guys in jackets as Boris Yeltsin and fingerprinting. And you’ll never catch Vocal Steak in tweed.
“Senile Sunrise“, the first album to be available digitally, doesn’t tiptoe anybody through the tulips so much as it straps on a rocket engine for a supersonic ride through noise-town at rush hour. From the opening bass drive of “A Glow In The Dark River“, you know you’re in for an album that won’t apologize to anyone for its unique take on voice-rock. The album also shakes up Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and “Leaf House” by Animal Collective. Vocal Steak takes a rest on the lighter side with “This Is For You” before plunging us back into traffic head-on with “Some Ways To Die“, which was ear-blasting enough that we created a special ringtone from the track guaranteed to stand out from that same iPhone ping everyone else is using.
Fair warning: Your folks probably won’t understand. It might be best to keep the phone on vibrate during family dinners.
Catch Vocal Steak’s “Senile Sunrise” on iTunes now, and pick up the most out-there a cappella album you’re likely to let invade your ears all year.