Alt Country Tab — Still Night
Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of five stars) A title can say a lot about an album, Still Night is one of those records. Listening to this you can take the title to mean two things. A still evening, on your own contemplating a broken heart and the process of getting over it, or going through the same process of thought for what seems like days and realizing that it’s still night.
Chicago based Zach Phillips recorded this, his second album in his own basement studio. Something that would ordinarily result in a low-fi acoustic affair, the result is something far more eclectic. Owing much to Zach’s impressive baritone voice, this is probably the most soulful record of this genre I’ve had the pleasure of encountering for some time.
The album starts out strongly with the superb Cry Like I Do, and yes it’s obvious again the theme for the song and the album, but sometimes new things can be added or blended to create a unique style. All the songs on this album take several unexpected twists and turns with the music, just at the point when you think you’re on familiar ground. Cry Like I Do has this aplenty. Whether it be the chords suddenly changing direction, or even a swift change in vocals from Phillips, it’s the sort of thing that prevents this being the 3 am album it sets out to be. Basically, it requires your attention, but that’s not a criticism.
Zach and his band of super-musicians, The Walk-Ins, are slowly but surely recording the follow-up to 2003's "Still Night" from the comfort of Zach's home studio. It will be an all-out, hard-driving, roots-rock epic. The album will include songs from live performances over the past year, along with some new ones. Look for it in 2006, and hold your breath if you'd like.
"Still Night," Zach's second album, is a mellower, edgier affair than his first, offset by pretty arrangements and melodies. It was recorded in his tiny basement studio with the help of some very talented musicians, many of whom are current members of the Walk-Ins.