Beyond the Music: Zack Mexico's John Saturley 17th June, 2019
I’m always interested in pedalboards and “stomp boxes” used by guitar players. Between John and co-guitarist Matt Wentz, there was an abundance of both. “Major monetary investment. Can they use them?” I thought.
When they started “playing,” it was more akin to a sonic assault. Yet, in the best of ways. When they stopped, I was bummed.
In many cases, I go listen to an artist or an act, catch a few numbers, get the gist and prepare to make my exit. Not with Zack Mexico. Stayed for the whole set. They were original, soaring above “competent” and in my mind, “world class.” This “local band” in a sandwich shop. Good God. Where am I? Bottom line: Read John’s own words. Seek him out and listen. He’s the real deal.
New Brookland Tavern 26th January 2019
Zack Mexico featured two drummers and not in a gimmicky way. It’s the first time I’ve seen that back to back in any setting, let alone a local Thursday night show. Zack Mexico is the best band in the Carolinas. I feel confident in saying that, and the only argument I’ll hear about them not being that is that their pysch jam outs might last too long for your comfort level. That might not be for you, so let’s settle on that they’re the best band in the Carolinas that play outside the “box”. Photos
AMBY - Toronto, ON
02 Academy Bournemouth, UK
Making sure the 3500 capacity crowd are in the mood for Samuel T. Herring’s fervent histrionics are fellow Americans Zack Mexico. Unknown to most, the perfectly synched twin drum setup instantly earns the North Carolina outfit some audience kudos. The band proceed to produce an incredibly kinetic set full of compellingly outlandish songs which morph ecstatically in a whirlwind of organic distortion that grips all and sundry. The energy of their percussive onslaught, including a brief but electrifying double drum solo, is enhanced by thrillingly psychedelic textures generated by three distinctive lead guitars which swirl emphatically amidst John Saturley’s surf rock vocals. It’s an absorbing affair in a support slot which can be so often an unrewarding one. Zack Mexico made sure they were impossible to ignore tonight.
Its All Indie
LCR, Norwich, 28th November 2017
Future Islands brought along their fellow North Carolina friends Zack Mexico who definitely contributed to the wide variety of different styles. As Future Islands later praised their support act they also impressed us with the fact that this was Zack Mexico's first proper tour – and one which they mastered with excellence.
The six-piece wowed with extraordinary psychedelic rock. Gradually spicing it up with bubbly guitar solos and and weird dances (the good kind of weird) they performed with a set of two drummers, who were more than synchrone, and three different kinds of guitars. Describing their own music as „experimental rock“ they seem to be drawing inspiration from other genres as well. After playing some of their probably best known songs, „Reputation“ and „Bleed Out“, singer John Saturley stated „That was fun I liked that“ and we most certainly agreed.
Rock Regeneration - UK
Bournemouth 02 Academy
"SOLD OUT" Tour - Future Islands have brought along on tour with them their fellow North Carolina residents “Zack Mexico”, a band that feature a bass player, two drummers and three electric guitarists. After doing a little research on them beforehand I knew to expect something quite special. The band stroll on stage to a warm south coast welcome and immediately create a huge wall of psychedelic sound. The two drummers are completely in sync, hitting each beat simultaneously. The three guitarists all have their own induvial, considerable styles which merge together like an epic progressive jam. The bass player just stands on stage casually nodding in time, playing some effortlessly exceptional basslines. The whole energetic performance is just a joy to watch with lots of different textures and sounds and the band putting the emphasis on the music, as opposed to the understated vocals. The six-piece arrived on stage with few of the audience even knowing who they were and left the stage impressing virtually everyone here.
Eastern Daily Press - Norwich, UK
University of East Anglia LRC
A few words of praise for support band Zack Mexico And their brilliant spaced-out 70s psychedelic rock outs. Just as I’d been bemoaning the lack of decent support bands at gigs of late, they went and broke the mould. Keep an eye out for them as I predict they’ll be back soon enough playing Norwich Arts Centre - and then who knows where next.
O2 Appollo, Manchester, UK
By music journalist Emily Hardy
Support act Zack Mexico had effortlessly filled the Appollo with their psychedelic, brooding sound, as they created a no-holds-barred atmosphere; playing an intricate guitar riff whilst being wildly bandied about on the lead singer’s back certainly set a precedent for Future Island’s non-conventional stage presence. With the energy of the band, exacerbated by having two drummers, it was easy to see why they were chosen to open for a band like Future Islands.
RENGINIO RECENZIJA Vilnius, Lithuania
By Music Journalist Margarita Sargautytė
The first on the stage is the guys from the American band Zack Mexico. It's good that I rushed to the concert, because I would be very sorry to miss their performance. Until then, the psychedelic Indie Rock representatives surprised us with everything they could. The show was started by two group drummers, whose drum sets took up most of the stage and commanded attention. When their drumming got intoxicating, three other members came to the stage one by one. Although their music has never been heard before, it was a hit from the very beginning. The cramping rhythms and melodies had everyone rhythmically swaying and shaking their heads. I did not hear much, but I did not care much about what the vocalist was singing, because the focus was on the music that was hooked up, and the endlessly charismatic and terribly different members of the band. Probably more than half the time of their performance I watched the hypnotic synchronized drummer movements in the center of the stage. Probably their time come so fast and was gone. I think we'll hear about Zack Mexico.
A LOOK BACK AT HOPSCOTCH 2017
By David Stringer
Is Hopscotch without Zack Mexico really Hopscotch? Between them and their coastal neighbor band to the south Museum Mouth, you've surely seen members of these bands around the festival if you've ever attended. Following a unique performance under frontman John Saturley's name opening night, Zack Mexico played a couple of day parties after. They're one of North Carolina's best psychedelic acts and they'll be heading to Europe this fall with fellow Eastern NC native band Future Islands.
How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All
Hopscotch Music Festival 2017
I can't really write more about Zack Mexico than I've written already on this blog. Always fun, always good songs, crowd loves them more and more each time. Hopefully they're about to earn a few thousand new European fans as they tour the Continent with Future Islands in October.