Robert pointed out to me that I would be one of the few reviewers coming to the second album immediately after hearing the first, so what would I think of the two albums working together? The albums are designed to be viewed as a pair, from the artwork and layout through the music and ideas. While I smiled when I noticed that this was called ‘Volume 0’, part of me would rather it had been called ‘Volume 10’, which of course is 2 expressed in binary code, but that really is nit-picking (yes, I’m a geek – been working in I.T. for more than 20 years, but it’s not my fault).
Lyrically it is the perfect follow-on from the debut, so much so that it feels that it could become part of a permanent loop, so much so that the question becomes “which came first, 1 or 0?”. Musically it does feel very much of the second half of a piece of work, possibly slightly more acoustic? The musical themes and styling of the debut are carried into this, with the same influences very much in play, so much so that one actually finds it quite hard to realize that there was a break between the recording of the two albums as opposed to being recorded at the same time. And if anyone doubts the City Boy analogy just listen to George at 5:20 on “The Future Doesn’t Need You” and see what I mean.
It is also definitely worth mentioning that all the lyrics are in the pack, apart from one, and the only way to get that is to go the Valhalla Biotech site. Once there the lyrics can be seen, but also there are various links, for example, “5 Things That You Need To Know” (which takes you to a blog about becoming more involved in the local music scene) or “Become A Shareholder” (which of course takes you to their store). As I write this, I see that the album is #2 on the PA charts (interestingly I gave maximum scores to #1, #3 and #5 – haven’t heard #4). It is a totally different album to the latest by Roz Vitalis, the current incumbent of the top slot: that is very much a progressive album, from the RIO scene, while this is progressive pop that is fully Crossover. In terms of sheer pleasure and repeated playing this wins hands down, as it just makes me smile each and every time I play it. And isn’t that something that music should be about? The two ‘Ones & Zeros’ albums perfect complement each other, and all that can be done is buy both and listen to them back to back.