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"Music Review: Zank - Without A Bridge"

Back in 2006, armed with just a plane ticket and a miniature acoustic guitar, Californian musician Zank took off to backpack the world. It was certainly the journey of a lifetime, the one we all talk of making but few seem to achieve.

As he travelled from place to place on his epic 18 month journey he would often find himself staring at the passing terrain, notebook and guitar in hand. When he finally returned, wiser, and richer for the experience, he began to set his reflections to music. Without A Bridge is the result.

Words became melody and evolved into songs that capture some of the tapestry and diversity of the world that he saw and experienced first hand. Music opened many doors for him, as it always does. A guitar is, after all, an international key and it helped him connect with people all over the world.

Zank has been around the music industry for as long as he can remember. With a style reminiscent of Pete Yorn, and Mat Kearney, he writes of life’s experiences with his heart on his honest sleeve. The album's artwork shows him out on the road, thumbing a lift, playing guitar as more scenery drifts past his railway carriage.

Music is at its most effective when drawn from real life experience. It was a journey that formed relationships with people and places, which by its very nature would prove to be transient. Maybe that is why so many of us just stay at home. It is sometimes just too painful saying goodbye.

It did however give Zank a whole well of emotion and experience to write from. Without A Bridge opens with a strong statement of intent with “Sorry�. ‘Sorry but I’m not coming home today’ he sings from some motel room somewhere in the world as his journey begins. It’s emotive stuff carried home by Zank’s powerful vocals and guitar.

The memorable hook that is the chorus of “How It Feels Right Now� is delivered with a great deal of honesty. Even at this early stage it is clear that this is an album full of passion. It is a passion for life, passion for the trip, and all of this is transferred into the music.

“The Last Car Ride� confirms that this is most definitely a road album. In this case as the journey was coming to an end. In the album notes Zank explains that when he sat down and went through his notes written whilst travelling, ‘slowly, songs began to take shape. Ideas and melodies became verses and choruses’. Powerful visual images are successfully transferred from Zank’s notebook, camera, and memory into the songs that make this album.

“Wonderful� is a satisfying song of love that very slowly builds into an uplifting emotional ride. “Like Flowers For The Sun� develops a sudden pace and vitality. The gentle acoustic opening of “Stay�, written in Budapest, leads to a touching disarmingly honest song of a love lost. It is clear how Zank remembers her but asks, ‘how will she remember me?’.

“Growing Old�, written in Krakow, Poland, starts with a child’s laughter. It is a song that will touch anyone aware of the passing of time and the regret of things we cannot change. The sadness of travel, the friends discovered but left behind, breaking up, and the joy of living itself are perfectly captured within “Letting Go�. As he travels off to the next destination his world is richer for the experience.

Zank knows exactly how to share that feeling with us and this song captures the temporary nature of travel and yet celebrates the everlasting memories that such a life trip provide.

“So Slow�, is equally strong, again telling of someone left behind. As Zank, journeys, he is left staring out of yet another train window, reflecting. “With You�, is a song of parting and the utter sadness that can cause.

“You Always� is dedicated to a close friend who took her own life just a couple of days before he left on his trip. No one knew why. This song begs answers whilst holding memories dear and would touch even the coldest of hearts. With this story in mind, the journey takes on an even greater significance.

The result has been an album of such personal reflection it feels like you have actually been on the trip, or at least been one of the passing people somewhere along the line. Totally passionate and honest, it is a journey not only across the continents but through life itself. - Blogcritics


Zank wrote the music for his latest CD “Without a Bridge� while traveling around the world. Accordingly, there are bits of lots of styles of music embedded in his tracks. “Sorry� opens with a swampy slide guitar and strong vocal, pulling in elements of bluesy rock ala Black Crowes and adding in a twist of some John Mayer’s pop vocal inflections. The slide guitar changes tone and attack during the background of the chorus and adds a nice undertone to this part of the song. The song builds well and is catchy and has cross-genre musical appeal. “How it Feels Right Now� immediately brought to work the music of ironic pop singer/songwriter Nick Lowe and his classic “Cruel to be Kind�- with its similar drumming beginning in the second verse of the song and continuing throughout. Like Lowe, Zank’s vocals are upbeat and there is nice use of vocal harmony. This song ventures into roots/country/rock and has a great (albeit short) guitar harmony lead that gives a nod to southern rock. “The Last Car Ride� uses some great rotary guitar sounds underneath the vocals, which give this track a dreamy edge. The lead break introduces a monotone guitar sound that works to simulate an engine, with the dreamy edge layered on top. “Growing Old� spotlights a story-telling voice, with the vocals out front with simple accompaniment. Beautiful harmony vocals bring out a poignant chorus. There is much more music to sample on Zank’s site. For more: - ExmogulMusic

"Zank - Without a Bridge"

The guy who simply goes by the name Zank wrote most of the songs on Without A Bridge while backpacking around the globe. After returning to his home in California he recorded this, the resulting album. Bridge is a surprisingly slick and professional album, particularly when you consider the fact that it was recorded at home. Zank really knows how to write effective melodies and he's got a really smooth voice that seems tailor-made for commercial pop. Eleven flowing understated pop tracks here including "Sorry," "Like Flowers For the Sun," and "You Always." Housed in a very nice, appealing tri-fold digipak sleeve. Nice sincere sounding stuff. Well done. (Rating: 4+++) -


(2009) Without a Bridge (single on local radio: How it Feels Right Now)



Indie singer/songwriter Zank has been singing and playing guitar his whole life. It's his language, and it's helped him connect with people around the world. Drawing on modern influences such as Mat Kearney, Train, Pete Yorn, The Fray, and Ryan Adams, Zank's captivating melodies, distinctive lyrics, and energetic vocals weave together to create a unique and mesmerizing style of acoustic pop/rock.

Near the end of 2006, Zank left his home in Southern California on a trip around the world with only a miniature acoustic guitar, a backpack, and a plane ticket. It was the journey of a lifetime and an opportunity to explore new influences and write music across the globe. A year later, Zank returned home and began the process of pouring through the notes and reflections he'd chronicled throughout his travels. Soon lyrics gave birth to melodies, and gradually grew into songs that captured the color and shape of his experiences throughout the world. In the finished songs on his latest album, Without a Bridge, were an openness and honesty that crackled with life.

Zank is no stranger to the music industry. Early in his professional musical career he had the opportunity to record two records for Polygram with Grammy Award winning producer Mack (Queen, Stones, Zeppelin). His success in these early bands led to international tours and support from radio, VIVA, and MTV. In his latest effort, Zank's musical identity has finally come into its own thanks to the incredible efforts of musicians like Jack Irons (Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Shawn Davis (Beck, Prince, Lenny Kravitz).

Zank sings songs that evoke the gritty, diverse, and surprising moments that make life worth living. His music is the culmination of a lifetime of experiences and he's just thrilled to share it with the world.