Over the last couple of years, Fredonia has acted as a farm system of sorts for Buffalo’s local music scene. Bands, many forming between classes at the SUNY institute, have honed their craft at places like BJ’s in downtown Fredonia, in addition to various basements on the outskirts of campus, before getting the call up to the big show here in the Queen City (admittedly, usually to play more basements).
From the soaring psych rockers Mooses to the steam folk quartet Mr. Boneless to the late suggestive shock rockers Well Born Boot, Fredonia has bred some of the most interesting and diverse acts in Buffalo today.
You can add Zealot to that growing list. The noise-rock trio, comprised of Jesse McMahon Eagan on guitar/vocals, Mike Sweeney on bass and Jimmy DiMatino (also of Mooses) on drums, has been slowly building a nice following around town over the past year. The fuzzed out threesome recalls college rock acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Super Chunk, and more modern indie outfits like No Age, Yuck and even Japandroids.
The band first caught buffaBLOG’s eye late 2013 with the release of its fantastic first single, “Magic Eye” following up this past May with sophomore track “Blanket Forts.” As for recorded material, that’s about it, for now. The group, slowly but surely, is finishing its debut EP, “Foliage,” set to hit Bandcamp in the next couple of weeks.
“It’s been taking longer than expected with Jesse in Buffalo, and then Jimmy and I in Fredonia,” explained Sweeney. “Everything is basically done except the vocals. We’re recording a two-song demo thing in Fredonia.”
The five-track EP is set to include new songs, including a revised and extended version of “Magic Eye.”
“Our singles are a bit more upbeat,” said Sweeney of “Foliage.” “We have a few songs that are noisier.”
Between members splitting time between the two cities, the trio still stays busy with live gigs. A couple of weeks ago, it played an opening slot in Mohawk Place for album release show of blues/garage trio, the Naturalists (member Craig Perno recorded the original “Magic Eye”).
At 8 p.m. Friday you can catch Zealot again in Mohawk Place with Spartan Records act, Young Fox.