The band’s last album, 2010’s The Way Out, a cut-and-paste Pop symphony that utilized fragments of self-help cassettes, had come after a five-year break during which Zammuto and de Jong both got married, started families and built home studios. Zammuto has been hesitant to talk about specific issues, although he told Pitchfork he didn’t think he’d be working with de Jong again. He also mentioned a rarities collection, a box set of all four Books albums and an updated DVD are in the works.
In the meantime, Zammuto has crafted an actual band of sorts and christened both the group and its debut album with his distinctive last name.
There are natural similarities between the two, as Zammuto — the band — reflects The Books’ use of Ambient Pop textures, Electronic soundscapes and snippetronic assemblage. At the same time, there’s plenty of Daft Punk’s danceable Electro Rock, Beck’s sonic snark, eels’ lyrical vitriol (“Try getting off your ass, try picking up an axe/Things are getting overgrown, it’s time for ruthless cutting” from “Idiom Wind”) and even musical passages that betray hints of Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa. Most of all, Zammuto has added just a shade of convention to his songwriting toolbox, creating actual song structures within the tangles of his electronic jungle.
Books fans may be down in the mouth over the band’s demise, but Nick Zammuto’s new chapter, as dour as it sometimes appears, should brighten their outlooks considerably.
ZAMMUTO performs Wednesday, Oct. 10 at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine with Lymbyc System.