Friday, December 11, 2009

ZOOM - S/T - 1991 / HELIUM OCTIPEDE - 1994

Zoom was a band that formed in the late '80s in Lawrence, KS. They released two albums, their self-titled debut on the ill-fated but awesome Lotuspool Records, and Helium Octipede, which was produced by Greg Sage of The Wipers, on T/K Records. Then they broke up (supposedly due to a lack of support from their label) and morphed into about a dozen other bands that achieved small amounts of notoriety in the fledgling indie explosion of the 1990s, but nonetheless had a tremendous impact on underground music in the mid west, and Zoom drifted into obscurity.

There's very little out there on this band. I could only find a few things about Helium Octipede, and nothing about the self-titled album. Most critics label them 'indie', which isn't necessarily wrong, just insufficient. Zoom is a little more complex than your average 'indie' band, though Helium Octipede has it's moments of jangly weakness. Some critics think they sound like Polvo, but I disagree. Then again, I hate Polvo. Check 'em out and let me know if I'm wrong.

Best lyric: "Should have quit taking showers / Should have quit taking showers in the morning", from "7:30". Pure poetry.
Trivia: The lyrics on 'Letter from Allen' on Helium Octipede are a verbatim reading of a noise complaint a pissed off neighbor left on the door of their practice space.

Oh, and last by not least, the song 'Gary (Newman)' is an interesting cover of 'Cars'.

Helium Octipede


Shelby Cobras said...

That Gary Numan cover is pretty fucking sweet.

cgaribal said...

Lotuspool has been well fated as of late. We will have a new site in a month (, we have re-released all our back stock on eTailers (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and we have three albums being released this spring:
- Bully Pulpit's lost album, "Jockeys"
- The Weightmen self-titled
- The Suneaters self-titled

The original Zoom album will be available for online purchase in two weeks. We are additionally going after the licensing rights of Helium Octopede.

Finally, the Lotuspudlians (Zoom, Panel Donor, Bully Pulpit, The Weightmen, The Suneaters) gather each year in late July/early August to play a show at Klas in Cicero, IL.

A subset of those bands (Bully Pulpit, The Weightmen, and the Suneaters) are playing in Chicago at the Elbo Room on April 16, 2010.

Thanks for the mention. More Lotuspool soon.

Anonymous said...

Zoom is playing a reunion show on October 16th in Chicago with all 4 original members. it will be the first time they have played together in over 15 years.

Anonymous said...

Zoom played some reunion shows in Lawrence and Kansas City over the weekend with all original members.

First show was a little rusty, but they ironed out the kinks for the second show.

Good to see the boys in form again.