Zep in drag
Reviewed October 2007
By Lez Zeppelin
Emanation Records: 2007
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
There are tribute bands and then there are tribute bands. Put Lez Zeppelin atop the A list of tribute bands, if for no other reason than they've taken their passion for the music of Led Zeppelin into the recording studio. The resulting CD will never be mistaken for the original, but it's a fun listen, one that captures the excitement and drama that was Led Zeppelin.
The all-women band does a pretty solid job at laying down a note for note re-creation of Zep's more popular hits: "Whole Lotta Love," "The Ocean," "Kashmir," "Rock 'n' Roll" (and three more, plus one original song that sounds just like Zep). The production (by longtime Zep engineer Eddie Kramer) is superb, with the mix featuring the same right-left channel oscillations, the same echo effects.
The band, too, is tight at finding almost the same groove as the original recordings, with Steph Paynes churning out Jimmy Page's guitar licks riff for riff, and the rhythm section of Lisa Brigantino and Helen Destroy chug-a-lugging right behind her.
Then there's singer Sarah McLellan, who inhabits the same vocal range as Robert Plant (as does Ann Wilson of Heart, for that matter, who does a spot-oni knockoff of him). She doesn't really sound all that much like Plant, but she nevertheless manages to capture the spirit of his work with Zep.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).