Zeke is a punk rock and hardcore institution, forming in 1992 in Seattle and still going strong. You can say that they were punked up Motorhead but they brought a certain punk rock and hardcore element to the genre that many bands after them picked up on. The band built their catalog on punk rock staple label Epitaph and now resides with Relapse Records. Zeke has currently given us the pre-cursor to their upcoming album in the first single “Ride Hard Ride Free”. Along with that they offer up a track titled “Smokestack Lightnin’” named for the famous blues song and I was expecting a cover and wondered if they could pull it off. However the track just shares the name but is again in Zeke’s signature writing style and sound.
Zeke takes an interesting mix of garage rock and blues and transforms it into something gritty, mean and intense. The band’s genre is almost hardcore punk rockabilly. At times it’s reminiscent of NYC Hardcore but then other times when the chord progression lends itself more towards a blues structure it’s definitely very Motorhead, from the music to the vocal. Anyone who loves Lemmy and never heard of Zeke you should definitely check it out because I can’t think of another vocalist who evokes that more.
The band had been on a little hiatus since 2017, along with most of the music world with Covid bringing the arts almost to a full stop. However in 2022 Zeke was reborn with founding members Blind Marky Felchtone and Donny Paycheck along with previous band members Jason Freeman and Jeff Hiatt. The band’s first single is exactly what any fan of Zeke wanted to hear.
ZEKE recently completed a successful West Coast tour. The band also has a number of high-profile European performances scheduled in the coming months, including Sjock Festival in Belgium and appearances at Pitfest in the Netherlands and Sardina Fest in Spain. The group will return to America later this year. Stay tuned to www.zekeyou.com/tour for further details.
Currently the band is not using streaming services and is instead offering the track on vinyl only at a multiple shops online, you can purchase it here: https://www.popmarket.com/zeke-ride-hard-ride-free/673790037084 or in multiple other spots.