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.
Zack Mexico Opens for "Future Islands" at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC: Opening the night were Future Islands’ North Carolina buddies Zack Mexico, who came up just for this show and make a new wave-y brand of surf rock with a two-drummer, three-guitar attack. (They seemed like a band who might’ve toured with Oingo Boingo in 1982.) What they lacked in Big Hooks they made up for super tight playing and exuberance. They were a lot of fun.
Show Photos by Amenda M. Hatfield for Brooklyn Vegan
Desde 2011, Zack Mexico ha aprendido, sin dejar su estilo, a ser una banda dinámica y fiel a la tradición de la psicodelia que honran, logrando ser divertidos y a la vez melancólicos mientras derrochan fuerza en la guitarra en canciones como “Call Me Back.”
Hablando de experiencias personales como la típica saudade que provoca aquella relación fallida o los amigos que se fueron, nos quedamos con el sonido de Zack Mexico porque no nos cansamos de la energía que surge al hablar del sentimiento del amor o el echar de menos algo a través de una batería acompañada de efectos alienígenas en cortes como “Reputation.”
En “Suzuki”, nos dicen “I don’t wanna fall in love again”, pero nosotros definitivamente queremos enamorarnos de la psicodelia a través de ellos como si fuera la primera vez.
Since 2011, Zack Mexico has learned, without leaving his style, to be a dynamic band and faithful to the tradition of psychedelia that honor, making fun and at the same time melancholy while wielding power with guitars in songs like "Call Me Back. "
Speaking of personal experiences (like the typical saudade that causes that failed relationship or the friends that left), we are left with the sound of Zack Mexico because we do not get tired of the energy that arises when talking about the feeling of love or to miss something through drums accompanied by alien effects in cuts like "Reputation."
In "Suzuki", they tell us "I do not want to fall in love again", but we definitely want to fall in love with psychedelia through them as if it were the first time.
Zack Mexico describes their music as "experimental rock," but there's something a lot more whimsical in the music than that ultra-serious sobriquet suggests. For example, the leadoff track on their 2015 album Get Rich & Live Forever, called "Suzuki," kicks off with a surprisingly light synth-drums-vocals trio that bubbles effervescently along until it takes a sudden turn into a fuzzy prog-rock guitar epic, closing out with some seriously chaotic thrashing. And then the band immediately follows that up with a softly demented lullaby called "Early Times" that combines the mawkishly overwrought vocal style of Jonathan Richman with the dreamy echo of Stephin Merritt's most heartbroken Magnetic Fields songs. In other words, there's a lot going on here, and while it's certainly experimental, it's a lot more fun than you might expect. And for a band with two drummers, they never seem especially bottom-heavy; most of their songs trip along a blissfully psychedelic path with a lighter-than-air feel.
Respect Your Youngers
Hopscotch Highlights - Easily the best surprise of the weekend. Zack Mexico closed out the packed day party at The Pour House Saturday afternoon with their wide range of psychedelic indie jams. The set composed of some explosive blues jams reminiscent of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and even some dreamy burners akin to Connan Mockasin. With three guitarists a bassist and an energetic drummer the band’s set was tight and dynamic flowing from dreamy psychedelic bridges to ecstatic solos and choruses. This is definitely a band to watch out for the future.
Kelly Warren Harrell
Zack Mexico returns to this year’s SpazzFest with a catalogue of new music to unleash on a guaranteed packed house. With two maniacal drummers (think Animal on steroids), a formidable wall of guitars, a meaty bassline, and Saturley’s magical god-like vocals, festivarians can expect this insane wave riding vehicle to completely shred their faces off and make them rethink the meaning of life.
Three New Hidden Gems You Don’t Want To Miss
"Get Rich and Live Forever" – Zack Mexico
North Carolina has a long and storied history of producing great musicians, and the boys of Zack Mexico are upholding the title well. As far as their sound, I think the tags they put on bandcamp sum them up best: “fuzzy rock epic indie juicy pop psychedelic punk ripe secretssweet North Carolina.”
Why should I listen to this? Look, if you’re someone who hasn’t taken your same Led Zeppelin or Jefferson Airplane album out of the player for the last 20 years, you want to take a break and listen to these guys instead. - Manda Collis
East Carolina University
The band’s Jack Jonhson mixed with Red Hot Chili Peppers sound makes for an unparalleled musical texture. Zach Mexico has played all over the Carolinas as well as up and down the east coast, building a reputation of bringing their good vibes lifestyle onto the stage for fans to feed off of.
How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All
Hopscotch Festval 2015
A few days before Hopscotch, I gave my "shows to see" recommendations, and they were:
Yeah, that was it. And man-oh-man, did they live up to it. I'm biased: they're probably my favorite NC band. But if this night was any indication, that club just gained a lot of new members. Frontman John Saturley had been across the country for months, and the band had only recently re-united for a few rehearsals in the days before Hopscotch. But you'd never have known it.
The Wild Honey Pie
Hopscotch Festival 2015
This past weekend the annual Hopscotch music festival took place city-wide in Raleigh, NC. Zack Mexico smashed guitars and left us all feeling like we survived something spectacularly crazy.
Hopscotch Festival 2015
Hopefully by the time that ends, the Emergen-C and Red Bull cure-all will have taken effect, and I can finish Hopscotch in a most reckless fashion. Slim’s has wrangled a pretty rad lineup with punks galore, Given how incredibly close The Hive is, catching even part of the ZS set there seems a certainty, as does ZACK MEXICO over at The Pour House. While I’m sure GODFLESH will put on one heck of a show, I’ll wait to see them back home in New York next week.-- Gary Suarez
WRAL Jake Seaton
Hopscotch Daily Picks
Not many bands are invited back to Hopscotch year after year. Zack Mexico is one of the few, and that’s because their raucous performances have earned them a level of notoriety that draws a huge crowd. From throwing guitars into the rafters of the Contemporary Art Museum in 2012 to stripping down and donning dresses at Deep South last year, Zack Mexico certainly knows how to elevate their brand of psychedelic surf rock.
includes Zack Mexico 20 Favorite North Carolina Albums of the year
Zack Mexico: Their most recent album Run Out of Money and Die is the soundtrack to building a treehouse with your friends in your backyard on the moon. At times hazy and lolling, at times aggressive mind-exploding guitar riffs, all punctuated regularly by other-worldly synths and the sounds of alien space ships landing and abducting by night. Yes really. ZM has some serious range and as North Carolina hometown boys they’re sure to put on a high-energy and memorable show.
main highlight was Zack Mexico, a young bunch from the Outer Banks that’s been through some changes since I saw them at Hopscotch 2012. Back then, they sounded like the world’s oddest surf band. This year’s model was more along the lines of MC5, a pulverizing lineup with two drummers and three guitarists all in a race to see who would finish first. And it opened up with the frontman coming onstage, stripping off his clothes, donning a dress and holding a drum aloft to punch a hole in it. Then they started bashing away and it was glorious.
Eastern North Carolina was putting in work this year.
A scene has erupted in the area that feels like transmuted takes on surf rock, all taken into vastly different sonic territories. The sounds of Zack Mexico started out as stoner-psych surf and have morphed into something vaguely reminiscent of Frank Zappa..
The number of bands that you can say contribute to the North Carolina music scene that are from Kill Devil Hills are few and far between. However, it won’t take long to realize that Zack Mexico is one of those few bands. Making a big sound through their psychedelic indie rock, Zack Mexico just recently put out a new full length album entitled “Run Out of Money And Die” back in April of this year that provided a solid indication of the potential and growth of Zack Mexico. During Hopscotch, DJ Salinger and DJ Acorn were honored to be able to sit down with the members of Zack Mexico for a quick interview talking a little bit about their latest record and how they have matured as a group over the past couple years.
Zack Mexico’s latest collection, Run Out of Money and Die, leads with the song “Apocalypse”. But for this coastal garage-rock outfit, the end of your life and the end of the world are only fuel for psych-beguiled elation, with surging bass lines and melodies that slash without mercy. It’s abundantly clear that Zack Mexico has a blast making this music, and nothing – bankruptcy, mortality, Armageddon – seems like a threat to that fun. – Jordan Lawrence
Eastern North Carolina was putting in work this year. A scene has erupted in the area that feels like transmuted takes on surf rock, all taken into vastly different sonic territories. The sounds of Zack Mexico started out as stoner-psych surf and have morphed into something vaguely reminiscent of Frank Zappa.
Hopscotch 2014 Summary Best Set:
1) T0W3RS (Pour House)
2) Tie - St. Vincent (City Plaza) & Zack Mexico (Deep South),
3) Free Clinic (the Hive, day party)
Living on a dune laden island tourist town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where it's easier to find a Slightly Stoopid cover band than a decent record store. However, over an EP and two full length releases they have proven that they don't need to know Neu! to write kraut or have heard John Dwyer to add sunburnt slapback on punk rock vocals,
Isolation really does something to you. For Zack Mexico that isolation comes by way of living on a dune laden island tourist town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where it's easier to find a Slightly Stoopid cover band than a decent record store. However, over an EP and two full length releases they have proven that they don't need to know Neu! to write kraut or have heard John Dwyer to add sunburnt slapback on punk rock vocals, all they really need are bong rips and free time from seasonal jobs to find these sounds on their own. For them, isolation is the gift.
The Bottom String
Run Out of Money and Die
"Run Out Of Money And Die serves as an exciting continuation in the arc of Zack Mexico as musicians, it's clear that they're beginning to find their footing as a band. They're not shying away from long-running tracks when needed and they're not afraid to take listeners out of their comfort zone. Dissonant arrangements and low-toned vocals may make the band immediately stick out from a crowd, but their immense musical talents and knack for infectious melodies are what keeps fans coming back for more.---It's become increasingly harder to classify the group and that seems to be the plan here, their albums tend to bleed together pretty seamlessly despite the fact that each track is an amorphous blend of 70s psych-rock and indie pop. ---Those that heard Ephemera, the band's second full length released a mere six months ago, will find that Run Out Of Money And Die falls into a similar musical patch. The album is filled with a pretty even combination of short, fast-paced tracks that boast powerful, memorable hooks and spaced-out psych jams with equally compelling melodies and experimental noodling. For those that aren't afraid to get a little weird, Run Out Of Money And Die serves as an excellent break from a monotonous day, allowing the listener to jump into the frenetic minds of the young Zack Mexico crew.
However, what Run Out Of Money And Die does most effectively is solidify the fact that Zack Mexico is a band that has infinite potential on the horizon. It's hard to find an act like this that can pack an album with four tracks over 6 minutes and not have a single one feel monotonous or over the top. It's all methodically arranged so that the long, rambling songs are bookended by a few brief, almost punk-inspired tunes. --- Plop down on the couch with a pair of headphones and give this album a spin, it makes for an immersive listening experience that'll take you careening through a wide array of sonic fields...or whatever, man. " - The Bottom String/Grant Golden
"Ephemera of Altruisms" embodies the true rock ‘n’ roll spirit, intertwining dreamy horror sounds with a sci-fi beach party theme. The album experiments with the swirling and disorienting sounds of shoegaze, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine’s earlier sounds, with psychedelic riffs. While this marriage may seem odd, Zack Mexico brings out the best of both genres with a sinister ambient noise coupled with low-tone vocals and surf rock-inspired melodies.— Marcela Guimaraes
How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All
Zack Mexico’s theatrics pay off big at CAM
You know that moment when you’re rocking so hard that you fall off your perch behind the drum kit?
Wait, you don’t? Well, then you are obviously not Zack Mexico drummer Joey LaFountaine.
The Kill Devil Hills-based band opened night two of the Hopscotch Music Festival with a mix of psychedelic surf rock and punk at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh.
With St. Vincent, these two were a tie for the second best set at Hopscotch Their weird, psych-surf-jammy meld is just pure, distilled, rock'n'roll energy... intense yet fun. Seldom do I enjoy a song that goes on for longer than 7 or 8 minutes. Later I'll post a 10-minute smoker that they closed with. Stunning set (even just the half).
The News and Observer
“It would be silly to call Zack Mexico surf music from the moon — there’s no water up there, let alone oceans. But you wouldn’t have ocean tides without the moon’s gravitational pull. So think of this Kill Devil Hills quintet as inhabitants of the dark side of said orb, where they lasso the centripetal
forces of the galaxy to ride waves of skronk across the astral plain. If that ain’t surfing, well, I don’t know what is.”
“…imagine Polvo as musical Z-Boys surfing Pavement waves with James Mercer calling the shots”
“Like sunburnt kids with well-worn copies of Sonic Youth’s Dirty, doing their best to make the luau weird”
A new-ish outfit from the Outer Banks of N.C., Zack Mexico’s wiry and agile rock courts ’90s indie hallmarks, but maintains an undercurrent of ’60s surf and pristine pop. In other words, imagine Polvo as musical Z-Boys surfing Pavement waves with James Mercer calling the shots. “Weird Reef” offers perhaps the best encapsulation, shuffling like a Ventures ballad while guitars wind and meander across a moody backdrop of ringing chords and slack vocals. It’s not only a disarming drift; like a strong undertow, it’ll carry you off without warning - Bryan C. Reed
All of America, from Florida to Alaska, Maine to Hawaii. Paste is scouring the country for great new bands. Paste Magazine lists Zack Mexico on it's band on the rise list.