"Zak Smith Takes a Step Towards Success with Haunted Feet" by John Kujawski

"It is a bit of a surprise to discover that the new Zak Smith CD Haunted Feet E.P. is self released. This young artist from New Jersey seems to have taken all the necessary steps to secure a deal on a major recording label. Not only does the five song recording sound professional, it rivals much of what can be heard on major radio stations today.

Smith plays music that blends an appealing Indie rock sound with influences ranging from soul to southern rock. There’s a certain unique quality to it that is lacking many of the late night bars around the country. While many bands spend the majority of their sets showing off how many bluesy guitar solos they can come up with, Smith has some real songs and a voice to go with it. It’s hard not to get drawn into the smooth vocal style he has and throughout the recording. It’s literally refreshing to hear someone sing that doesn’t sound like they were raised on a solid diet of cigarettes.

As far as song highlights are concerned, “Suffer Like a Ghost” is the big stand out. The melody is so haunting and the guitar parts are so well played it seems like it would be worth it to drive down to one his gigs just to hear that song alone. All the good qualities he has an artist come to life on this track and anyone suffering from hearing the same ten songs played over and over again on mainstream radio will no doubt feel good after hearing this one.

Perhaps the only down side to this release is just how short the recording really is. Smith writes songs that never seem to drag and the three and a half minute tunes kick past the listener in a flash. This recording simply wasn’t put together to last a person throughout an entire lengthy car ride but hopefully Smith will be working on a full length CD, shortly.

Usually it’s the bands that are on recording labels that seem to get all the major airplay on radio stations. The good news is, the disc is a reminder that artists throughout the country are doing good work and sometimes one has to dig deeper to find it as opposed to relying on the Billboard top 40."

- May 13, 2011
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