Artist Review: Leaving Zero – “Get Your Body Moving” & “Coming Back For More” Singles

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Some bands know how to grab you by the ears from the very first listen. They say first impressions are the most crucial ones, and can make or break a career when attempting to launch. In this case we have Memphis-based Hard Rock quintet, Leaving Zero, who immediately has hit the ground running.

For a band just starting out with their first two singles, these guys are an absolute mind blow. Their first single, “Get Your Body Moving”, does complete justice to the song title. It’s a heavy concoction of frantic guitar progressions, fierce tones, a heavyweight rhythm section, and a masterful vocal approach that steers the track into mid-to-high range ferocity. Drawing reminiscence to influential rock bands like Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Stone Sour, Leaving Zero combines many versatile elements that deliver up a signature sound that is recognizable and original in their own right. Chris Autry’s vocals are authentic, full of attitude, and really delves into the band’s overall artistic merit as the cog of the machine. With a dangerously catchy chorus at the centerfold of the song, “Get Your Body Moving” does exactly what it advertises.

Moving on to their subsequent single, “Coming Back For More”, we get the same punch and precision as the predecessor, but this time with a more driving tempo and upbeat key signature. This one has a little more adrenaline but sustains the same amount of charm as the first single. Focusing more on the technical skill set of the drums and guitar work at the helm, this tightly fit track is comfortable like a leather glove and never lets up on the insatiable energy. Autry comes out swinging once again with more tasty vocal melodies that soar through each verse and reach a climactic feat by the time the chorus shows up. It’s a perfect follow-up to the last track and continues to showcase the band’s signature sound and each member’s influence on the overall execution of each song.

One of the most notable factors of these singles is the high quality production value. For a band honing their craft with a prominent hard rock sound in this modern era, the pre and post production is beyond the norm and exceeds expectations for a band just starting out. It sets the bar high for the band, and they are more than ready to reach those heights very few bands in this era really do. Both of these songs have mainstream potential and Leaving Zero is definitely a band I can see labels taking an interest in.

I’ve been in many bands for the last 23 years, and this is the type of group I’d love to write/jam/perform with. And trust me…I’m picky. Leaving Zero is just starting out, but not without a bang. Fans of this band will be impatiently waiting for a full length album, just like we are. You won’t regret giving these guys a listen.

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Artist Review: Swagg Jazz – “Swagg Jazz VS. Jasmyn”

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

There have been a tapestry of new female rappers coming out the gate lately. Some are hit or miss, and some just hit it out of the park. And Memphis Hip Hop starlet Swagg Jazz is exactly one of those cases.

Her latest release Swagg Jazz VS. Jasmyn really sets the bar higher not just for herself, but for other female Hip Hop artists everywhere. She’s dynamic, witty, and very versatile. And every track on this record demonstrates this perfectly.

Swagg‘s album concept is almost like a Jekyll & Hyde approach, putting her stage persona and offstage personality into parallels. And you can really delve into more of who she is in her reflective opening track “Self Note”. A storytelling narrative that starts everything on a more subtle note, however very effective. We have a more toned down song that reels you right in to Jazzy‘s mid-ranged tone, perfect flow, and charismatic lyricism that really lets her guard down. This is definitely a fantastic opener to get to know Jazzy on a more personal level, and there’s no better way to start a record off.

Then things get much louder and edgier immediately with her follow-up track “Chase A Bag”. An in-your-face party track that really heats up the streets and casts Swagg Jazz in a much more fast-paced role. First of all, like the album title depicts, we hear a whole different side to her and she really lets loose with this one. We have a beat that flows beautifully with her lyrical conjectures, and the perfect production value to tie it all together.

Another highlight of this album is collab track “I Ride” (feat. Ashley Banks). We have an extremely catchy chorus that carries the torch with Ashley Banks‘ multilayered harmonies and multifaceted melodies aligned with Jazzy‘s insatiable rhyming techniques, making this one of the main bangers of the album for sure. It’s a perfect blend of two female voices in two different roles, structured together beautifully and produced in a way that really showcases their artistic merit.

Overall, if Swagg Jazz keeps up this kind of momentum in the playing field of female Hip Hop, then Memphis is gonna have a new Queen at the table. If she hasn’t been given the throne already. Either way, Jazzy really holds her own with every track of Swagg Jazz VS. Jasmyn. And when you take a listen to it yourself, you’ll see exactly why.

Swagg Jazz has also been making her rounds as a feature artist for a slew of other rappers in the elite Memphis scene and its surroundings as well. So when you research more into her music, you will definitely catch a glimpse into an on-the-rise female Hip Hop artist grinding her way to the top. And we are stoked to see her get there.

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