Zion Train
Universal Egg
May 30, 2006

Track list
  1. Follow Like Wolves
  2. Fuck The Nazis
  3. Eagle Ray
  4. Under The Sun
  5. Ruderalis
  6. Getafix
  7. Driftacid
  8. Praying Mantis
  9. Galaxy
  10. Alpha
  11. Creamcheese
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 3 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
Perhaps this "Siren" album is not as relentlessly strong as the atmospheric and commendable "Natural Wonders Of The World In Dub", which fused block shaking rib cage and spleen rupturing bass lines with a refreshing quasi Can/Neu dynamic, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Whilst "Natural Wonders" was a dub album in the early UK digi roots sense, and was surely better than most albums on that arguably overly derivative, musically conservative, nostalgic scene -- this "Siren" album is more of a fusion album in that it still keeps part of its influences firmly in the house/techno scene, with a few nods to acts like Hawkwind, Tangerine Dream, Floyd, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and Public Image.

The minimalist house hypnotism of "Praying Mantis" is a high point -- but the album really takes off with the clever and inspired bass vibration of the aptly named "Galaxy" and the boom of "Under The Sun".

Really, "Siren" features pretty simple compositions -- but it is clear they are composed with intelligence and inspiration in mind -- and therefore the results are not the tired, lack lustre, dull dubs we hear so very often these days from both Europe and JA under the well worn guise of so called "steppers" and "one drops".

On the downside, perhaps it is fair to say the fusions of house and dub do not always work on "Siren", and the drum patterns do sound somewhat over obvious, and perhaps more than a little dated now.

Zion Train -- in the eyes of this reviewer at least -- really got their formula right on "Natural Wonders Of The World In Dub", which far surpasses the majority of "modern dub" in the inspiration, sound treatment and composition sense -- The best tracks on "Siren" then, hint at the strength of that album, and are worth checking out for that reason.

Otherwise, perhaps this album has more to offer the listener with one foot firmly in the early to mid 90's house/techno/festival scene -- It works well on those terms, and will please its target audience, who clearly know very well what they like.