The Zou
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The Zou

Youngstown, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Youngstown, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pinebox Ep Review"

The Zou is exorcising its demons with the release of their “The Pinebox EP.”
It’s nowhere more apparent than in the album’s namesake, “The Pinebox.”

The song is unusually dark for the Zou, like a creepy love song with keyboard parts reminiscent of “Halloween” and even more haunting guitars over a driving beat.

It’s a break from the sixties’ rock-influenced Zou, for a sound more like NIN, Muse or Orgy.
“I will feel the same until they lower the pinebox,” lead singer Khaled Tabbara says repeatedly.

“LMNOP” starts just as dreary, before breaking into a boldly peppy beat.
Tabbara begins singing the chorus sweetly, “Will I ever see you again, girl? Do you think of me now and then, girl?” Then finishes in a painful scream, “I hope you don’t believe that we’re just friends, ‘cause we’re not.”

Darkest of all is the fourth track, “Nothing Beats a Hanging,” which plays like a modern dirge. It’s not an angsty song, its viscously dark lyrics hang heavy over violent instrumentation by Rob Thorndike on bass, Adam Mamula on drums and Chris Splain on bass.
The vocal parts collide angrily at the end over chaotic strings.

It’s followed by a bleak waltz, “All the Words In The World,” the last track on “The Pinebox EP.” I’m not going to lie, the first time I heard it, I cried.
“She left for the last time again last I heard. I dreamed I wasn’t angry, I dreamed I slept OK. If last night was the last night, then why the hell are you here today?” Tabbara introduces the song over gentle strings.
As it slowly progresses, Tabbara makes you feel the pain of past relationships in a way few songwriters are able to.
Despite perfect pitch, Tabbara sings as if sobbing as a glockenspiel dances lightly in the background.
“But all the words in all the world can’t tell what I saw. I think of you, and drink to you and give it all I’ve got,” Tabbara sings. “But all the words in all the world, can’t tell what you do. If you could be right here with me, the way that I’m here with you.”
The song is so delicately painful to hear with brutally raw emotions, it’s as if you walked into the room where Tabbara lay, bottle and guitar in reach.

The song on the album that stands out is “Thank You, Muse,” featuring Splain on vocals. It’s one of the most fun songs in The Zou repertoire, with a carnival-like sound and honky-tonk keys. The Zou’s true musical ability shows on this playful song, with complex harmonies and myriad riffs and fills.
The song is perfect for summer listening and in general, just good fun.

Get to know another side of The Zou and pick up a copy of “The Pinebox EP.” -

"What some people are saying about The Zou"

here's what some people are saying about the zou...

“Tabbara makes you feel the pain of past relationships in a way few songwriters are able.” - Katie Libecco (

“I think if The Zou keeps up with this trend they will set the bar and be a band that is influencing younger bands all over.” - Abraham White (

“The change in the crowd after The Zou took the stage was amazing. . . Cedar’s transformed from a typical downtown bar to a hip, underground night club with a lively dance floor.” -

“If you ever have a chance to hear an acoustic Zou set, I suggest doing so. It really showcases the band's musicianship . . .” - Jessica Trickett (

“The Zou's songwriting abilities and studio alchemy is at it's finest since the band formed.” -J. Rafidi (The Walrus. November, 2006)

"They definitely have excellent talent and a unique kind of rock music, their shows end up being a lot of fun." Bob Daniluk quoted in The Jambar.

“With their unique mix of Beatles, blues and art-rock, The Zou's performance was one of the show's major highlights.” - The Jambar. February 15th, 2005

“It's an album that seems to get better with each listen.” - CD review

“For those of you aren’t familiar to see them, they are a great band that fits into no stereotypes . . . once you listen to The Zou, you’ll understand.” - Youngstown

"The Zou . . . write incredible songs." - Pete Drivere of the Dead Boys/Infedels in Youngstown Pulse Magazine, Feb. '03

"The CD The Zou made is fantastic . . . a great listen." - Youngstown State University Newspaper. Oct. '04

"Their style is completely unique. Almost everyone . . . becomes an instant fan." - Nov. '04

"Youngstown Favorite Band . . . truly amazing songs." - Dec. '04

" . . . a Supergroup . . . (that) does not stick to any formula." - Kelly Walsh, The Jambar March '03

- Various

"Live Performance Review"

Youngstown, Ohio band, The Zou, played at Cedar’s Saturday night and brought their groupies with them.
The change in the crowd after The Zou took the stage was amazing. While two bands preceding them were playing, Cedar’s bar was like a ghost town. Every five barstools were occupied, maybe, and the bathrooms were spotless.
But somewhere between midnight and 12:01 a.m., Cedar’s transformed from a typical downtown bar to a hip, underground night club with a lively dance floor. Between the loud music and the band’s screaming followers, communication with the person next to you seemed impossible.

The later it got, the more people showed up. By 12:45, almost every seat in the house was taken. They all would have been but most of The Zou’s fans were huddled around the stage.
The crowd sang along all night to “oldies” such as “Track” while jammin’ out to brand new ones like “”Don’t You Think I Know.” Each song they performed sounded unique, but had similar, pop-style characteristics.
The Zou brought not only a large crowd, but a diverse one. You name it, they were there. Everyone from true, hard-core rockers to Emo lovers to your average Joe was in attendance.
- Sarah Poulton

"Youngstown's Most influential band"

In the preceding issue of The Walruss, Khaled Tabbara was displeased with people..s reaction when they learned his band, The Zou, hails from Youngstown. "They think that everything is, like, gang bangers rollin.. around killing everybody. It's not that bad here," he said.

Just after Youngstown was awarded the number nine spot on the list of the nation..s most dangerous cities, Tabbara was humbled by his naivety. "Stuff like that is heartbreaking. I get naïve sometimes too. But, I do get tired of the rap it gets. They are focusing on the negative, instead of the whole picture. There's wonderful people here, wonderful art, wonderful music. At least downtown is protecting their assets, but its hard to justify that," he says.

Tabbara has lived in bigger cities like Denver and New York, but he always seems to return to the place he knows best: Youngstown. He is pro-active within the music, media and arts scenes. Tabbara and The Zou founded the annual, often semi-annual, Nouveau Rock Festival. Nouveau spawned the growing fan base for bands such as Third Class, Posture Coach, Lady Fantastic and You Are the War That I Want.

Many of these bands are being spotlighted in a similar wattage, but Tabbara insists that Nouveau is not the tight-knit group that people assume it to be. "Everyone thinks we're this big buddy system. It's not like that at all. When the bands first started playing, none of us knew each other," he declares.

The individual movements collectively morphed into what is now referred as the "Nouveau Scene'" When The Zou and their contemporaries started playing out, none of them really had a consistent draw of fans. The bands could bring select fans from their respective towns and that's basically how the scene became what it is today. "Each band could bring 12 or 15 people from different geographic locations. Because of Third Class, people from Columbiana are now regular at Cedar's," Tabbara notes.

Tabbara admits that to a newcomer to the city and the music scene, the Nouveau event appears to be a buddy system. However, in the beginning, friendships and connections weren't the basis for collaborative promotion. The idea at the time was a cause for Youngstown to be recognized as something more than being "dangerous." Now, the bands are close friends, working partners and if there's any competition; it's usually friendly, of course. "We inspire each other and we're good friends; we play on each other's albums. I think of it like this; in Athens, Ga., there's a much bigger version of stuff like this," says Tabbara.

The Zou has been through several studio, touring and contributing musicians over the course of five years. Their frequent line-up changes were no shock to Tabbara. At times, it was acknowledged that a few of their drummers were temporary fill-ins or that somebody was just lending a helping beat. As Tabbara was pushing The Zou for excellence, some past members couldn't handle its demand. After Tabbara returned home from his recent New York stint he planned to make his band a local and regional force. "I wanted to do this full time, and play every weekend. If we lose money, we'll just keep doing it 'til we can't afford it," he reasons.

Over the past year The Zou has played more shows than in their prior three and a half year existence. They often travel for a three or four show tours; like Niagara Falls to Buffalo to New York then back to Youngstown. This type of tentative schedule makes being in a band too time consuming for members who have other obligations. "Sometimes we didn't know where we'd sleep, maybe we'd meet people, hang out, drink some beers and crash. One time we drove all night, and fell asleep under a tree in Niagara Falls. Not a nap, we slept. That's not fun for some people. To me, its fuckin' amazing," Tabbara says.

The Zou's songwriting abilities and studio alchemy is at it's finest since the band formed. Tabbara has carried the band from the beginning, but he also maintains that present members in the band ultimately shape the music. Members have rarely departed unexpectedly or on bad terms. Someone would leave; they'd replace him. Another would leave a few months down the road; he'd be replaced. Even though Tabbara is the founding and only original member left, he doesn't feel that it's detrimental to the band's current state, history or future.

"I like the fact that we have enough material that people can say 'I like the old Zou, or the new Zou' I take it as a compliment. Sweet, that's awesome. That's the stuff you hear about your favorite bands. That's because they're a good enough, and they're doing something enough to get your attention, that you can draw a parallel. Most bands can't even do that," Tabbara says.

The band is currently working on their next 12-song full length album. A possible working title for the forthcoming disc is All The Words In The World, which is also the title of a new track. They hope to have it released just in time for the next Nouveau show. However, due to the abundance of Nouveau bands playing shows together in the area, Tabbara is having second thoughts about when to unleash the next round of music.

"I want it to be an event you look forward to. I might push it back. It's usually on Valentine's Day. Hopefully, it will be too big for Cedars. We're not concert promoters; we just wanna throw a good show. Nouveau is about doing something different," Tabbara says.
- The Walruss Alternative Press

"For More Press"

TheZouReviews.Blogspot.Com "The Zou" -


The Zou- Archaeopteryx/2009
The Zou - The Pinebox EP /2007
The Zou - Don't Dream it... Be It (the Zou's Rocky Horror Tribute E.P.
The Zou - The Zou / 2004
Majestic Records Beatles Complilation (I've got a feeling - cover) / 2004
'05 Nouveau Rock Sampler (Main Artists) / 2005
The Zou Video Disk / 2004
'04 Nouveau Rock Sampler (Main Artists) / 2004
The Zou - Sleazy Demo / 2003
The Zou - Basement Tapes /2002



Since 2007, The Zou has been marching across the country, gathering the support of music lovers and critics. They have been described as "Intelligent and electrifying Nouveau Rock", "A dark assemblage of snarky lyrics, gritty bass, and 2 colossal keyboardists" and "Indie rock to be proud of".

Ohio based, nationally touring and regionally reigning - If you haven't heard of The Zou yet, you will soon.

Born in a Midwestern scene dominated by affluent white youths, The Zou is a transnational ethnic musical collective of 1st generation Americans. They are the sons and daughters of Lebanese revolutionaries, Palestinian refugees, Italian grocers, and Filipino migrants. This unique background shows in the crafting of their indie rock. The Zou's music reflects a quality and creativity seldom found in mainstream music.

The Zou is receiving rave reviews nationally for their unique approach to creating "non rock-inspired rock" drawing influences from such bizarre sources as Nintendo games and musical theater.

Their latest album ARCHAEOPTERYX was awarded #2 Album of The Year (4.5/5), by Sawkick Media beating out rock heavy-hitters Muse, NIN, and Foo Fighters.

The Zou has performed over 400 shows in over 25 states in such respected venues as:
The Bitter End and The Hard Rock Cafe - New York, NY
Crane's Tavern - Hollywood, CA
Tasty World - Athens, GA
The House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
The Monte Vista Hotel - Flagstaff, AZ
The New World Brewery - Tampa, FL
Herman's Hideaway - Denver, CO
Le Swimming - Montreal, QC Canada
The Exit/In - Nashville, TN
Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, Ga
Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA