I don't know if it's the over-the-top operatic level of joyous outerspace pop or Dr. Otto's amazing voice but there is something very special about Zener Diode. From their official biography,"Led by the crossing dressing, rock singing alien Dr Otto, Zener Diode are a group of androids from another world, travelling through space and time and spreading mesmerising electro - disco - rock to the people of planet earth!" And rock they do. There is a quality to Dr. Otto's voice that is so familiar and I know that there is another artist that he reminds me of but I just can't place it. This music isn't dance, it's not pop it's some amazing fusion of techno, rock and pop. With soaring guitar solos and vocals so large it's hard to contain them, Zener Diode should be superstars and I don't know why they aren't.
Their debut album, The Cosmonaut Effect was released on May 11, 2011 and even though it's been out for a year, I think the album is incredible. I think one of the most amazing things about this group is that the entire album is a concept piece and they are so hard to pull off. In my opinion there are only a few concept albums that are worth listening to. Kilroy Was Here by Styx and Janelle Monae's two part opera (Metropolos: The Chase Suite and The ArchAndroid) are probably the most successful in my eyes. The Wall by Pink Floyd is a fully realized concept album but it's not necessarily my cup of tea. It's a piece of history but just not my thing. Dr. Otto and his androids make glorious sci-fi, synth rock that doesn't cross over into Nerdcore so in my opinion, that gives them so much more credit to their work. All the songs aren't necessarily about science fiction type subjects but the fact they were able to ground the entire album in that element amazes me. There aren't songs that are out place or don't fit...it's easy infectious music that swells and overtakes you.
Stand Out Tracks:
Le Voyeur Du Telefone
That being said, there aren't any bad tracks, these are just the ones that I am going to turn up and dance my ass off to when they come on shuffle. I want more music from these guys because it is a super cool fusion of things that once were and things yet to come. I'm sure I can make some time paradox reference or pull some witty Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey reference about this band but I will let you make your own judgements.
Dr. Otto has stage presence that only few artists have mastered. His ability to command a stage is incredible (based on the videos I've seen on YouTube) and I think they would be a brilliant group to see on stage because I think it would be very easy to become enraptured with the charisma being pumped off the stage in gallons. I really think this album is incredible and I think that the level of camp in which they exist on is higher than most people could even think of mastering.
Zener Diode on the Web