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253. Zoom Daddy – The Swirling Eddies

ZOOM DADDY (1994)

The Swirling Eddies

The band that won’t go away has released several albums over the years and three make the list. This is the first of the three and some will probably complain that it should be ranked the highest of the three included while others will agree on its placement here. That is due to the fact that the album is probably the most “normal” (being a very relative term here) of the three included.

The album also contains some of Terry Scott Taylor’s finest work and one song I believe may be his best “rock” song ever. The album was released about the same time as Daniel Amos’ “Bibleland” and there are some similarities in themes and musical expressions, but one of the great talents of Taylor and crew is how to make the two separate incarnation sound like two separate bands.

Mr. Sharky, (Disco) Love Grapes and Pyro Sets a Wildifre are highlights that garnered some positive radio response. The latter is a personal favorite from the album and shows Taylor’s strength of setting up a great chorus with an interesting verse melody structure. Both melodic and quirky, the verses move into a chorus that is just a great groove.

One controversial song is “Sweet Mother of God” in which Taylor addresses how many Protestants overreact to the Roman Catholic doctrine of Mary by nearly (if not actually) disparage the mother of Jesus. Taylor uses nearly every name for Mary while critiquing the Protestant negative approach toward her.

The album does not contain the “humorous snippets” the previous albums were noted for. Here, instead, Taylor writes 3 to 5 minute rock songs that are serious and provocative. the best (ever?) is The Twist. The first person account of the crucifixion in which Jesus declares:

and look me in the face, at least what’s left of it
tell me you still love me just a little bit
or nail me down, break the skin
hard enough to do me in
but don’t leave me hanging
dying and dangling
twisting in the wind

The song is heavy, passionate and provocative. The sound is similar in tone and response to “Sanctuary” from the Vox Humana album. The song calls out to those who callously respond to the Gospel and use the work of Christ as a doormat for their sin and rejection. Those who walk away to return on “their terms” are cited in the songs final line: “that will be your sign and wonder/that soon we’ll meet again/just like we did last summer.”

The Twist alone would be enough to have this album ranked, but fortunately the album is filled with great Taylor material and utterly brilliant from first to last.

 

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  1. aarjayaitch
    November 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Agree with your assessment and that “The Twist” is the best track and one of Terry Taylor’s all-time best songs. But I am one that would probably rate this album highest of the Eddies’ projects.

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 22, 2010 at 3:42 am

    In retrospect (and it took me a LOOOONG time to admit this) Zoom Daddy is probably my favorite Eddies disc too. The Twist is easily one of TST’s greatest accomplishments.

  3. adam
    June 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Man, do I dislike this album. With the exception of “Pyro Starts a Wildfire,” I can’t listen to it.

  4. John Rodermond
    March 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    When I first got this album I was so excited to finally hear something new from the Eddies again. I was secretly hoping for something that would redeem them from the poorly executed and painfully misunderstood misstep that was Sacred Cows. Zoom Daddy certainly did achieve that, but, like David said in his review, sonically speaking this album struck me more as disc 2 of Daniel Amos’ Bibleland.

    At first I wasn’t even sure why this material was produced under the Eddies moniker. Maybe the albums got switched at birth somehow.

    Like Shawn mentioned above, it also took me a long time to accept Zoom Daddy for what it is. I longed for the goofy bits, the role-playing pseudonyms, and I missed the blatant satire. It also seemed overproduced for what I wanted the Eddies to be. Some of the bizarre musical arrangements still put me off and feel more akin to what we got with Sacred Cows and Meet the Farmbeetles (which have since been apologetically attributed to impostors and come across as the Eddies parodying themselves).

    This album is still not my favourite, but every time I put it on, I find something more to appreciate in the songs. This album contains some of the most clever lyrics and the Twist is definitely the crowning glory here.

    With the release of “The Midget, the Speck and the Molecule” it looks like Zoom Daddy was steering the Eddies into different territory than I was thinking. I just wished there was more on this album that you could dance to. 😉

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