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Cold Coming

by Zip Tang

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Another Time 03:30
I’m laying the track for the fortunate ones A railway of gold making tracks for the sun The sun shut its doors no one can come They're shutting it down only fortunate ones I come from, another time and place I'm just a remnant of the human race A time when fear showed upon every face The origins of which you can’t erase My father was an early hominid My mother future humanoid Little brother Homo habilis He’s just super fabulous He’s the Pliocene’s favorite son Only fortunate ones There was an aqua-bluish star Shone through burlap and iron bars Weary workers of the under race Bear the scars of greed from the higher place Higher place, higher place, higher place I come from, another time and place Another remnant from the human race
Sorry 02:42
Down in West Town Nineteen and sixty In a room by the alley Behind a bar they call the home of the gypsies Miles Davis blowin’ through the wall He bought another eight ball And they made that shit hole Into their own private Shangri-La He split the scene and she filled the void with anonymous patrons What she didn’t know was the whole time she’d been hosting a new creation By the time that her cycle had ceased she was apprehended by police And Marie was born into a world not meant for anyone Oh sweet Marie Remember I'm sorry You'll never know me I'm sorry Sorry All her new mothers dressed in black The sisters of the rosary made a pact To find her an upstanding home But the only ones that wanted her, among the pious whisperers Were the ones known as the family son of John Mr. Johnson made the move and the missus added she approved To take her into their consecrated fold But it didn't turn out good Not the way they thought it would The sisters knew not what they should Mr. Johnson wasn't any good
Run Away 04:06
Mama why did you leave me here alone Why couldn’t I stay a little longer I will never find out anyway Why did you leave me In the arms of those who never really cared about The things I’ll never know or feel for you Momma Welcome nice to meet you, We’re the Johnsons It’s so nice to have you in our home This will be your room, make yourself comfortable Here you’ll be safe and warm Just make sure when you undress Before you climb into your bed Lock the door Mr. Johnson isn’t quite right Ever since he lost the limelight A little bit crazy Between you and me If he gets in your head Just do what he says Or your better off dead Red is all I see Rage has gotten the better of me Dear Mrs. Johnson I just had to say I just want to thank you But I had to run away
Cold Coming 08:34
i. Transmigration (instrumental) ii. Mary Jane Lane On the run My nightmare’s begun I told Mister Johnson to put down the gun He just wouldn’t listen Ran into the kitchen The odds were a million to one Cold coming Old shoes broken laces She just keeps humming a song in her Head pounding Hears a distant drumming An old man strumming, four rusty strings The storm is coming Oh no The road is closed ahead Dropped the knife and fled the scene Oh no forgot to wipe it clean Black blood ink flows across the street Can’t you see it’s my destiny Felony I escape it in my dreams But I’ve forgotten what it means To see a wounded blackbird fly across the street Can’t you see she flies desperately Breathlessly And the sign upon the shed Said Mary Jane Lane is closed ahead Turn back you won’t see me again In this world iii. The Storm The clouds roll down, before the rain The shutters drawn, we prepare to remain The winds howl high on Mary Jane Lane And you and I, we stay the same way Up at the shed My old friends sang, that haunting refrain I quit the gang The lights burned out, dimming the pain The clouds roll in Cold coming again I made it through another night Do I flee or do I fight Chicago streets at night In black and white She’s moved away doesn’t live here anymore Wipe it clean
Vagabond 04:56
I used to play in my neighbor’s yard We’d go and climb the maple tree I used to sing and laugh real hard Hide in our fort where they could never see me I used to ride my bike to the river And think about the things she’d say And relate to what they couldn’t give her I used to be someone Now I am no one It all came undone Now I’m just a vagabond Used to have a home I never was alone A happy family But I refused to see It was just a fantasy Do not grieve for me For I am free I’m following the path they laid for me I turned my lock And left it all I could not stay another day Things left undone must stay that way My children A laugh A kiss This too I shall miss Be not hardened by times of sorrow I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow Climb the maple tree Never see me
Young woman collecting her coins Under the viaduct by the factories And I couldn’t roll down my window And I couldn’t make it alone here But she can’t be afraid Old woman hunched and alone Pushing her grocery cart down the dirty streets She tries to remember a better day She closes her eyes and begins to sway To the sound of the freeway
Moonwatcher 05:05
Street walker Beneath the meteor shower Like an artificial flower Growing in a sidewalk crack She is the moonwatcher She sleeps beneath the Fullerton bridge Where the apparition of the virgin lives On the concrete wall an oddly shaped stain Above the spot where her dreams were slain No one intervened between then and fifteen The lithium that helped her Washed down with liquor The search for in-between Regression toward the mean The dragon you chase has killed too many queens Come hell or high water Forgotten daughter Modern Mary Magdalene Crystal methamphetamine You didn’t realize the time was right To let go of the dragon’s tail The slimy scales
Surrender 02:16
What's this place Sterile light I sense her face, over me tonight Can't feel my legs Can't move my limbs Or put up a fight I lay here helplessly Suddenly a sight Her lips never moved But she said it would be alright Release me
Rains Fall 07:12
He wouldn’t listen, he lost an appendage He bled to death crawling from the twisted wreckage He smelled like Old Spice and cigarette smoke Always broke but somehow he always had coke Senses enhanced, simultaneously numb She’s dirty hot but he still couldn’t come Cruisin’ the highways going nowhere fast She said look out, you better slow down through this underpass Meanwhile, back at the shelter The helter the skelter The huddling masses Surrender Out from the in door, a vision emerges Enter, the great defender Her aura was calming, among the ones sobbing While atrocities replay, the rains fall on Broadway Back at the shelter, she opens her letter She closes the curtains She reads in a whisper Out from the in door, a vision emerges Enter, the great defender The sun came up today, (Surrender) on Broadway (I surrender) I will return again someday, (Surrender) on Broadway Watch me now
Stars Sing 05:36
Cold wind, old face Thin skin, black lace Cracked lips, blood taste Swallow it all, distaste The stars sing to me Black keys, time swing This vast multiverse Unrehearsed, reverts Dried tears, light years All my old fears, disappear Just give me sign and I’ll stay through the night See what comes tomorrow Bring back the night we held hands ‘til the light Revealed all of our sorrows Sha-la-la-la la-la-la la-la-la la-la-la Wait for tomorrow (I'm waiting for ya) Sha-la-la-la la-la-la la-la-la la-la-la Bring back tomorrow The stars sing to me Black keys, time swings This vast multiverse Unrehearsed, reverts Dried tears, light years


Sixth album from the hardy fellows hailing from Chicago who are currently a trio comprising Fred Faller (drums), newcomer Andrew Bunk (bass) and the writer/arranger/producer Perry Merritt (vocals, guitar, synthesizers), ably assisted by former members Marcus Padgett (saxophone) and Matt Gunsaulus who plays keyboards on a couple of songs. All five previous albums by the band have been recommended releases on DPRP, so expectations are high for this long-awaited new album.

The band's last album, Private Shangri-La, was some five years ago but the group pick-up proceedings as if it was just last year. Cold Coming is the most full-on prog release by the band, even extending to being a concept album telling the tale of the adopted child, Marie, who suffering abuse at the hands of her adoptive father, turns to drug abuse and a life on the streets. The cover of the album cleverly references parts of the tale within its general darkness, which is fitting given the dark subject matter.

One of the defining features of Zip Tang has always been the saxophone that is incorporated into the mix, and it is great to hear that despite Padgett no longer being a member of the band, his presence is heard on this latest release.

The opener, Another Time, is most resemblant of the band's signature sound, with the latest recruit Bunk laying down a heavy bass vibe with Padgett's sax interlocking with Merritt's guitar. As befits a concept album, there are a variety of styles to suit the lyrical subject matter. Sorry, an acoustic number, has a beginning and ending with the vocals manipulated to sound as if they are coming through an old radio. This contrasts with the more lush central section, which faintly resembles Echolyn; more in the singing than the music.

There is a much greater depth to the music on Cold Coming, with some gorgeously melodic slower songs, pitted against heavier rock pieces such as Under The Viaduct and Rains Fall. But even within these heavier pieces there is light and shade. Incidentally, it is these two songs that feature the keyboard work of Gunsaulus and so have a stronger affinity to previous albums than perhaps some of the other songs. Both are well constructed and contain some great electric guitar work from Merritt,

Of the slower songs, Moonwatcher and Stars Sing in particular beg to be heard, the latter song being a glorious piece of music that concludes the album perfectly,

A couple of more atmospheric and unconventional pieces are also included. The brief Surrender is a dark, haunting and faintly-evil number, while Transmigration, the first part of the title track, has an air of cinemascopic mystery, with previous melodies heard faintly in the background. Cold Coming as a whole piece perfectly transitions between the nightmarish introduction, through a more acoustic section, perfectly succinct guitar solo and harmonies of Mary Jane Lane and into the less tumultuous than one might expect closing of The Storm. The title track may be one of the best new prog songs I have heard all year.

Zip Tang had a very high standard to live up to and I am happy to say they have exceeded all expectations. A band that can consistently deliver the goods and maintain an exceptionally high quality throughout is worthy of more attention. If you are not familiar with the band, then do yourself a favor ...and grab a copy of Cold Coming. You won't be disappointed.
9 out of 10 STARS!

Mark Hughes - Dutch Progressive Rock Page


released July 10, 2020

PERRY MERRITT vocals, guitars, synthesizers

With Marcus Padgett on saxophone &
Matt Gunsaulus on keyboards tracks: 6 & 9

Lyrics and album info at www.ziptang.net

All tracks produced, arranged & performed by ZIP TANG
Written, mixed and mastered by Perry Merritt
Recorded at ZiTi Studio, Chicago, IL USA


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Zip Tang Chicago, Illinois

Eclectic Progressive Rock from Chicago, USA

Fred Faller - drums
Andrew Bunk - bass
Perry Merritt - vocals, guitar, synthesizers

Former Members:
Marcus Padgett - sax, vocals, keys, synths
Rick Wolfe - bass, vocals
... more

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