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"CMF: Saturday Night Review"

If honourary Canadian Elton John were at Canadian Music Fest, he might observe that Saturday night’s alright for scraping the bottom of the barrel. With The Indies monopolizing the available talent pool, sponsored showcases were thin on the ground, making the practice of finding hot new bands even more of a crapshoot than usual. But in at least one respect, we rock journalists are in a class with marines, aging prostitutes and C-list celebrities with extensive gambling debts: giving up just isn’t an option...

Of course, since we already knew about them, we couldn’t give up without dipping our ears into one more aural sea. Over to Sneaky Dee’s, then, where Zeroes were kicking their own version of brain-melting minimalism, albeit a much more prog, almost modern-rockish take on the concept. After a delayed start, it took a while to sink into the Montrealers’ precise, almost clinical synth-rock. But as their set wore on, the steady arpeggiator grooves of “Arena” and the unforgivingly relentless “The Disappearance of the Skyscraper” — built on an air-raid siren–like noise, the song seemed to culminate in a key change that shifted into another song entirely — made steam start to rise from the bodies twitching and pulsing in front of the stage. If the best you can hope for on a CMF Saturday night is to avoid too much disappointment, Zeroes’ promise offered something better than grudging tolerance: hope.

-Dave Morris
link: - Eye Weekly

"Head's Up Zeroes"


Now we could waste all afternoon playing the ‘6 Degrees of Separation’ game that envelopes – and in a way hinders – the close knit Montreal music scene, or we could cut to the chase and tell you just how amazing Zeroes are, regardless of the members’ respective side projects. At the heart of the matter are the guys themselves- Ben, Liam, Max and Joe possess a razor sharp precision in the mastery of their instruments, and each song is simultaneously exquisite and attention grabbing. To use the word ‘hybrid’ dilutes their work – whatever the hell Zeroes are cooking up, they’re sure to be two steps ahead of the pack. Just wait til you see ‘em live; they’re sure to leave other Montreal bands that shall remain nameless in the dust.
- Abbey Braden - Sup Magazine

"Zeroes are greater than their indie-rock-artpop-electro-opera parts"


“I find it really difficult to record Zeroes,” says Ben Shemie, “because I feel that we’re a live band, not a studio band.”

Local audiences will second Shemie’s pride in Zeroes’ performances, if not his humility vis à vis their studio skills. Their self-produced EP, released last spring by the local web label Villa Villa Nola, showcased hooks, energy and inventive structures (“They are not your standard songs,” Shemie says) of what they call electro-punk, or experimental rock meets post-millennial dance, and I call a potent potion of Clinic, Spoon, Suicide and Radiohead.

That would be generous praise for most new bands, but Shemie’s bandmates—Joseph Yarmush, Liam O’Neill and Max Henry—have amassed significant experience playing with such bands as Land of Talk, Silver Starling, Think About Life and Young Galaxy, and Shemie’s got his contemporary classical solo work—he recently wrote an electro opera that was produced by the National Theatre School. And yet he feels that Zeroes’ first recording captured the band when they were wet behind the ears.

“There’s a vibe on the EP of just trying to get the music out, trying to beat the clock in a way,” he says. “We have a bigger budget this time around so we’re trying to get something that doesn’t sound necessarily like an indie rock band.”

Shemie spoke to the Mirror from Breakglass Studios, where Zeroes produced their album, to be released next fall—it’s currently being mixed by the Besnard Lakes’ Jace Lasek, who also engineered it, leaving his reverb-heavy mark behind. “Obviously he does his thing, and we’re huge fans of his music, so that’s awesome,” Shemie says.

Tighter, more thoughtful and lighter on preset synths, the new material remains minimalist yet aggressive, according to Shemie, who writes the songs.

“I don’t feel that’s the reason it sounds good,” he says, playing down his role. “The songs are cool but the energy, the intangible cool thing about the band, is really collaborative. Everybody’s got their sound, and that’s really what Zeroes sounds like is these four guys.”

- Lorraine Carpenter - Montreal Mirror

"Zeroes EP Review"


Discovering Zeroes was something of an accidental love affair: I happened upon the Montreal quartet when they opened for Land Of Talk and was instantly entranced by their dance-noise grooves. While Zeroes’ live show has greatly surpassed this recently re-released self-titled EP, the take-home version is still a striking debut. “PVC” and “Mudslinger” deliver masterful grooves and infectious melodies, while the skittery production on the intro to “Arena” is perfect headphone fare. “NNNNNNN” even finds the band laying into a prog-rock groove to which you can easily shake your ass.
- Chris Bilton - Eye Weekly

"Reasons To Live Deadly"


Spare, spine-tingling robo-rock from Montreal. Land of Talk's Joseph Yarmush and Montreal musician/composer Ben Shemie are behind this arcane indie "supergroup," which also features members of Young Galaxy and Mothers Fathers. Zeroes' limited-edition debut EP kicks off by repeating the falsetto mantra "I killed a man when I was 11 years old" over a hammering organ drone and gets twitchier and more unsettling from there. Krautrock after electro-shock treatment. Deadly.
- Ben Rayner - The Star

"NXNE - Zeroes"


NXNE is a great week for music, and while this year’s lineup may have been somewhat weaker than it has been in past years, there were definitely some amazing acts to be found all over the city. It does take some filtering to find the good ones though, through the artists who are bland, boring, obnoxiously noisy, and shamelessly mindless synth-based-dancy-electro-infused-drone-rock. I even saw one post-rock band playing with half the members sitting down cross-legged on lounge chairs, while the audience patiently waited for the music to go somewhere (it didn’t). But there are many diamonds in the rough – case and point: Zeroes

Zeroes are a band that I first saw open for Land of Talk, back in January. The house was packed, and in fact, if you’re reading this and you’re from Toronto, you were probably there. If you weren’t, hopefully you were at the Silver Dollar at 10 PM Friday night. Half the reason I wanted to go was just to buy their EP – I searched online for a place I could buy it/steal it, and there was absoloutely nowhere because they pressed so few copies. But what really got me as always, was the performance. Anyone who’s heard Zeroes’ EP and likes it would do themselves well to see them perform live, because Zeroes are a live band, and to me are what NXNE is and should be all about.

Zeroes are a synth-based noise rock band – sounds like a recipe for bland indie rock, but a few songs in and it’s clear they are anything but. From the moment they begin their drummer demands attention. The ferocity and momentum in his beats set a strong foundation for the rest of the band. The synth comes in with a loop more akin to a classical motif than mindless noodling, and that is one of the things that separates Zeroes from the flock. Vocals are secondary, eerily floating somewhere between the synth and the Thurston Moore-esque noisy guitars.

With so many bands relying on 80s-style synth for dance-rock or avante-garde appeal, Zeroes find a way to reinvent it for the 21st century without making it the entire basis of their music. They are a rock band at heart, you can see it in their presence, in the appropriate way they use the synth to complement the rest of the band, not just drown it out.

You’ve got choices with a Zeroes set. You can rock out to Zeroes, you can dance to Zeroes, or you can just stand idle in hypnosis. They were modest on stage, asking every couple songs if they were cutting into anyone else’s time. When they finished, the crowd was in adoration. One of the festival volunteers begged them to continue just after they finished their set.

There were definitely a lot of duds in NXNE this year, but someone got it right when they booked Zeroes. Hopefully they’re back soon. After hearing the EP I picked up at the show, I’ve decided I’m counting the days until their full length. -


Arena/Lamentia 7" release.

6 song EP release.

Upcoming Full Length Vinyl



Zeroes, based out of Montreal, Canada, make the sort of electro-punk assault that grabs you by the shoulders, wakes you out of the sleepy hold of mainstream culture, and screams: "LISTEN TO ME!" Their debut EP, Zeroes, oozes its way into your brain via salacious riffs, repetitive vocals filled with hard lyrics ("I killed this man when I was 11 years old", menaces frontman Ben Shemie on the record's opener, "The Disappearance of the Skyscraper"). Comparisons to the Kills and late-90s era Britpop would not be gauche. Zeroes formed on a cold winter's night in the heart of Montreal, at first propelled by the musical relationship between self-proclaimed jazzman Ben and guitarist/noisemaker Joseph Yarmush. After six months of composing experimental rock songs with post-millennial dance twinge, the duo recruited drummer Liam O'Neill and multi-instrumentalist Max Henry to flesh out the group, play live and record. A 7", Arena/Lamenta, briefly followed, released to a crowd at a sold-out loft party on a winter's day in 2008. Word of their electric live shows spread far and fast, and Zeroes' performances have now reached the status of legendary among astute Montrealers. Recording their debut EP seemed to be the logical next step, and a few months later the world was given Zeroes, a rollicking, epic six-song sample of what this band of sonic mavericks are capable of. It's not a dance record, it's not a rock record, it's not a goth record, it's not an indie record. It's something that pulses through your body, picking up energy with every dirty guitar riff and rumbled hi-hat.