Daily paper NRC.Next (15/03/06):
"The course is wayward but still accessible"
"Although the term indie (for: independent) tends to loose its meaning
after the mega-success of indie-bands like Franz Ferdinand and Artic
Monkeys, there are still bands around that want to take an independent
stand. Guitarband Zoppo from Amsterdam follows its own course with music
that is, within all its waywardness, surprisingly accessible.
Their fourth album "Don't Trust Scarred Survivors" follows along the
lines of edgy guitarmusic of Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Pavement and
Dutch examples as Mecano and The Ex.
Exceptional about Zoppo is that, despite the lo-fi-ish megaphone vocals
and piercing guitars, they reach a level of emotional expressiveness
that since the heydays of Radiohead as a guitarrockband hasn't been
heard this strong.
Here you won't find casual three-chord songs on fantreeguitars, but
carefully fitting parts of two string-fetishists (Cees van Appeldoorn
and Arjan Tuin), who take there whole collection of guitars to gigs and
to the Next To Jaap Studio of their supergrooving bassplayer Corno
Zwetsloot, because for every song they need a different tuning and
Because of that 'Don't Trust....." has a great variety in passionate
songs full of compelling rhythms and an atmosphere pregnant of
Dutch magazine OOR (15/03/06):
"In a way we step in a timemachine direction towards the heydays of
American cultbands as Seam, Sebadoh, Unwound and not least Polvo. So we
also talk about intelligent noiserock, in a melancholic setting, wistful
lyrics and guitarparts according to the Sonic Youth commandments:
dissonant, crossing, layered, perfectly capable to create thick
threatening clouds over the songs and give the drums an elbow to the
side. It's not the dynamics that do the job, but the nice voice of Van
Appeldoorn, the beautiful vocal-melodies and, point taken, the so
prettily recorded guitars that one would swear recorder in
charge/bassist Corno Zwetsloot has been on a study-tour to the cellars
of Steve Albini."
8weekly webzine (17/03/06):
"Layered dissonant perfection"
"High time for a bit of new spirit. It was more than worth the waiting,
because the beautiful album Don’t Trust Scarred Survivors has got that
fiery element without doubt. From layered-ness to discordance, from
tension to that musical recalcitration: it's got everything.
People, a fantastic record has been risen from Dutch soil.
Polvo is one of Zoppo's examples, but Zoppo at the same token has the
against-the-grain sound of bands like Unwound and Sonic Youth. It's
eleven perfect songs that all have a different touch and are ingeniously
The eruptions are pretty, but utmost controlled. The band shows its
might and owns the creation. Awesome."
Dutch webzine KindaMuzik (28/04/06):
"Zoppo has made a first class album. A level that could be of use for a
lot of youngsters. Timeless quality music that deserves all attention,
but probably won't get."
"Personaly I consider former album Les Aumonts one of the best, if not
THE best Dutch album of the last five years. The melancholy and desolate
atmosphere that shined from the edgy indierocksongs, combined with the
intimite voice of singer Cees van Appeldoorn didn't bring Zoppo a
broader audience, but gained them quite some respect in underground
circles and with the press. As good and catchy as that this album is not,
but nevertheless still beautiful it is. This album you spin at home when
you're alone and want to lock yourself out from all the bullshit around.
More words I don't need."
Vido Liber on the Subjectivisten website (15/03/06):
"Don't Trust Scarred Survivors" is spinning overtime at Vido's home. The
album grows and grows and grows...."
Jan-Willem Broek on the Subjectivisten website (15/03/06):
"With every new cd of Zoppo the band shows a new unique sound, which
results in for everyone a different classic. For one person the second "Belgian
Style Pop", full of electronics, pop and postrock, will be the standard,
others will appreciate highly the more noisy third "Les Aumonts".
No matter which Zoppo you love, the red thread is always that beautiful
melancholy that wanders around in the songs.
After five years they're back with "Don’t Trust Scarred Survivors", an
interpretation of a lyric line from the Polvo song "Tragic Carpet Ride".
Whether you can trust these scarred survivors or not, you know for sure
they always will be different.
With squeaking guitars they start the cd and rapidly they create a sound
that would make Sonic Youth jealous. Quietness follows, but they strike
with melancholic beauty. This way they vary with loud and soft songs
over the total cd, keeping as always melancholy high up. Amongst other
things this effect is strongend by Cees van Appeldoorn's beautiful voice
that penetrates deep into your body.
The songs are compact, fresh and in your face. with that they combine
the best of themselves with elements of Sonic Youth, New Wet Kojak,
Pixies, Idaho and The Fall. Besides Cees van Appeldoorn also Arjan Tuin
(guitar), Ineke Duivenvoorde (organ, samples), Corno Zwetsloot (bass,
guitar) and Paul van der Maas (drums) are in the party. In one of the
most beautiful songs "Get Over Cute" Asta Cat (ex-Zoppo, ex-Seesaw) can
be heard as guestsinger.
It's a catchy rock album that creeps under your flesh. Five years after
their latest cd they again show in a wayward way to be able to make
music that does matter".
Dutch E-zne Musicfrom (25/04/06):
"After three/four spinnings the oysters open and a chain of pearls is
waiting. The fourth Zoppo turns out, especially when it comes down to
the underlying groundness, a first class listening trip. So many
exciting and beautiful things are happening at the base of the in itself
already strong songs that one is not easily done with listening.
We applaud Zoppo, as stubborn in style and attitude as they are and
still getting better all the time.
With this 5-some every longplayer is a new fresh adventure. Deep
UK Zine Vanity Project (25/04/06):
"4th LP from the Amsterdam quintet. It is a sharp, fizzing record of
skuzzy alt.rock dynamite, the brazen, stubborn attitude of pre-‘Ok
Computer’ Radiohead coming through. ‘Too Cool To Care’ has a tunnel-pipe
post-rock calm, dark splendour. Their music has the deep clouding feel
of Joy Division but allied to a genuinely inventive new-form of lo-fi
scuzz. ‘There’s One At Every Party’ sways through the battering, whining
guitar noise, while ‘Wrong Way Round’ rolling on a melancholic but
chiming melody. We’re in Editors/Interpol territory with this, but done
with a gritty panache. Skif"
Serbia and Montenegro radio programme THE POWER OF THE WITCHES
"ESSENTIAL LISTENING FOR THIS WEEK> Zoppo DON’T TRUST SCARRED SURVIVORS
on Transformed Dreams
I like shoegazing. And I hate Sonic Youth. I don’t like shoegazing as
much as I did. And I don’t hate Sonic Youth as much as I did. Zoppo
remind me of SY’s late early career (that’s Evol or Sister) with
filtered approach of new semi-shoegazers like Radio Dept. I like when
people are feeling sad and can transform the feeling into bursting
guitars. Into a firework of bursting guitars. Zoppo are from Netherlands.
Or Holland. Or Amsterdam. It’d be funny to be at their concerts holding
a girl’s hand and feeling the bits and pieces of eternity being blown
away. I like Zoppo cause its our childhood that bares all the
autenticity of our lives. And it’s worth being sad about it when it’s
gone. And they remind me about it. And that’s why I like them. And I
never said everything’s alright with me."
"Diskant" about "Les Aumonts": "Some music from
my maternal country now with Zoppo on Amsterdam's Transformed Dreams
label. With Les Aumonts they've managed to cover a lot of ground. The
title track has a good grasp of dreamy landcape building with a hint of
menace and picks out all the best bits of Hood and Reynolds and melds
them into something very pretty indeed. Zoppo Is Finished has the same
mournful minor key melodies that make Suckle so depressingly great and
Starlight Starbright has a joyful jangly feel with all the corners
rubbed smooth. Chick With The Leak and Flashlight have distorted vocals
set against inventive rock guitar and by now I'm getting very impressed.
Effective tuneful rock that I can imagine would be a good travelling
companion. Go find".
about 'Les Aumonts': 'Dass von unseren Nachbarn aus Holland immer wieder
gute Independentmusik kommt, wissen wir ja spätestens seit Herman Brood, Bettie Serveert oder Claw Boys
Claw. Zoppo, das sind 4 Männer und eine Dame, kommen aus Amsterdam und wollen
nun, nachdem sie in den Beneluxstaaten schon für Aufsehen gesorgt haben, auch den deutschen Musikmarkt
erobern. Und mit Les Aumonts haben sie eine nahezu unschlagbare Waffe
geschmiedet, mit der sie auf ihrem Siegeszug locker bestehen können. Denn dieses Album besticht durch seine schräge und kreative Gitarren-Popmusik in der Tradition von
dEUS, Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground oder Motorpsycho. Und wer sich jetzt angesprochen
fühlt, kann diese Platte ruhigen Gewissens ungehört kaufen...
Magazine about 'Les Aumonts': 'The first few times that I played (and loved) this album,
I'd pulled the stereo out and disconnected one of the wires imagine my joy when I found
there was a whole other speaker full of sound just at the end of the play button. Sound
wise the reference points are varied and just distant enough to make you think before
waving. But I spose Versus, the Valentines and Lou Barlows aching vocals with the
overlooked brilliance of Jason Lowensteins music are in the same area code. The dulcet
picked guitars are never overplayed or forced; they just sit back on top of the washes of
strings and feedback while a subtle percussive flow ebbs in and out. Each track is so
translucent and open it seems strange that theres so little space for unnecessary
and even though it's beautifully ordered for me there's still stand out
moments, the drum
sounds on 'Zoppo', the hushed boy /girl vocal on 'Starlight Starbright' that makes you
melt, and Im sure 'Flashback' rips a lyric from XTC's 'Senses Working
The sleeve has a picture of summer (do they fade or was it just the chemicals they used in
the 70's ?).You can almost smell the hazy warmth and taste the electricity of summer
thunderstorms; this is definitely the soundtrack of new and hopeless love.'
Belgian magazine Gonzo Circus about Les
is firm like a rock.Its the perfect balance between charming melancholy, varied
pop,hold-back anger,strange experiments and dissonant outbursts.Who wont get goose-flesh
hearing Zoppos finished is without soul, who doesn't consider Les Aumonts beautiful is out
of senses. Absolute top!"
OOR magazine about Les Aumonts:"Belgian style pop was the title of their last
album, and I still know what I thought : funny, such an ironical title, but there is
absolutely a core of truth in it. Very distant from for example the dEUS-sound they never
were. The same slumbering melancholy, the same tasty arranging, the same intimate
atmosphere. Not to forget the same beautiful vocal-melodies that brought, when it comes
down to tristesse, the most touching moments of Lou Barlow to mind. The same applies in
general for Les Aumonts be it that the Sonic Youth-guitar is used a bit more and that the
whole record sounds more consistent than the a bit too varied 'Belgian style pop'.
Differences in shade, exactly. Because, whether they want it or not, leaning towards dEUS
they still do-just listen to the violin-heated Zoppo is finished or the smashing The sky
is full of it-and also their competence to drive a melody with superior finesse through
bone and heart is still intact. Luckily. Great band".
Spanish E-zine Cielo Liquido about Zoppos gig at the
Truck-festival (GB): "ZOPPO (TP TENT) 12:45 PM Cuarteto holands
tremendo.Formacin clsica: batera, bajo, dos guitarras y voces. Graban en
el sello Transformed dreams records de Amsterdam, una fenomenal etiqueta
en la que tienen publicados ya varios Lps.Tanto en sus discos como en
directo demuestran clase, energa, madurez, inteligencia, tienen grandes
canciones y aportan novedosas estructuras.Las referencias ms cercanas
podran ser Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, Pavement, y Seafood, por ejemplo.Fantstico
grupo de verdad estos Zoppo."
Monthly for Dutch-Music-only-paper Fret
about their W2, Den Bosch gig: "For the saviours of rock-n-roll you dont
have to search across Dutch borders. Zoppo delivered with Les Aumonts a
more than terrific record. And know how to translate it into a challenging
live-set. Zoppo proves to belong to the guitar-pop of Holland. Whatever
happened to my rock-n-roll. This is it."
3FM-presenter Jaap Boots about Zoppo's live gig in his programme 'Club Lek':
genre (wide, atmospheric postguitarrock-Sonic Youth, Slint, Sebadoh) has had it's
I started believing in the importance of it again because Zoppo blew so much new life into
it. Intensly, imploding and exploding, Zoppo proved they can rival with the best in
Free popmagazine LiveXS about the Zoppo gig
at Doornroosje, Nijmegen (14/03/02): "Like on cd Zoppo knows very
well how to create a balance between hold-back, fragile guitar-rock and
widely floating noise. Squeaking and crackling guitars between the songs
provide an hypnotic effect. During the final song Zoppo rock themselves
and the audience once again to the bone, which makes you automatically
long for more. But encores are boring, because gone means gone and one of
Hollands best bands has understood that."
"It immediately shows that Zoppo rocks as never
before. A fat blast with mainly beautifully, against each other whirling loud
"Great: Zoppo. These folks from Amsterdam
showed why their album Belgian Style Pop got so many good reviews. Songs against the grain
in which names like dEUS, Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Belle & Sebastian now
and then crop up" (OOR about the Crossing Border Festival