The cover to Voodoo Zoo's latest album, "Curses," — a photo by artist Peter Macon — frames the veteran band's impending prog-rock journey. "Curses," the band's sophomore album, was recorded at Saxon Studios with Dave Anderson behind the console, giving a no-frills production that fits the players — Jeff Martin, vocals and guitar; Dominic Trinchini, bass and vocals; Brian Dobbie, saxophone, guitar, keyboards, and vocals; and Dave Taddeo, drums and vocals. The approach gives the songs a chance to stand on their own. "Curses" nails down a definite vibe with a few instrumental surprises along the way, including a horn section that appears on a few tunes.
"Shortest Distance" kicks it off with a statement of intent, the blend of guitar and keys driving the ambience while the lyrics capture the mentality. Several of the tunes sound vaguely familiar: Voodoo Zoo channels its inner Whitesnake for "She Don't Love You"; "Another Hour" recalls the odd-time signatures of Rush; and "Rael's Return" is a shout out to Genesis. Martin's vocals and the band's harmonies keep things flowing like bygone-era classic radio.