Friday, August 26, 2011



"So fill your pockets, lace your shoes, but keep your feet tied to the ground"

Grants, unlike other New Mexico cities has no distinguishing quirks to set it apart. Gallup has the Navajo Nation, Farmington has Mormons, Bernalillo has corruption and ignorance, Los Lunas has corruption and ignorance, Belen has corruption and rodeo livestock. Grants has nothing, with no uranium mining left, the interstate is its saving grace

Interstate towns in New Mexico tend to be a little different from the rest of the state. Just the fact that thousands of people pass by daily changes a town's character. Through osmosis these towns become mainstream and less provincial. For travelers along these mother roads they epitomize everything that is stereotypically American.   

"My calloused fingers, pay their dues, by plucking strings to make sound"

Zagadka* hails from Grants, lead singer, guitarist  Adam Abeyta, drummer Jameson Ray and bass player Matt Garcia formed the band in  2003. All three were chums at Grants Hs. (Go Pirates!) After graduation they all enrolled at UNM. Thus, Zagadka continued to rock in the bright lights and big city of Albuquerque (where they're now based).  *Zagadka is Polish for enigma, puzzle or riddle 

Funny how with all these genre tags and labels, nothing ever seems to fit quite right. That doesn't stop music fans, writers or me from categorizing bands. Zagadka is alternative, post hardcore, new metal, emocore... they're a fucking blender mix of styles. This band is the floppy eared American mutt that you can love to death. Small town guys, steeped in tradition with big heads full of big time dreams.

"If Minus the Bear met up with Portugal the Man would he eat him?" 

The men of Zagadka kept up with their college classes, while playing regularly at local venues. They've opened for and played with a who's who of post hardcore/ emo bands including  Lydia, Head Automatica, As Tall As Lions, The Dear Hunter, Tera Melos etc. They also toured during the summer of 2011 with Sputniq. Playing a variety of clubs, house parties and parking lots across the western states. 

For part-timers the band is extremely competent. Musically they play a mash-up of melodic alternative metal and post hardcore. Adam Abeyta (I assume he's the primary songwriter) is an earnest bard, but the lyrics border on the obtuse and are at times almost nonsensical. It strikes me as the work of young man who has not yet fully experienced the world.

"We smell a finish in the near future"

In 2010, the band took a short hiatus while Jameson Ray recovered from a serious hand injury. Once back in action they focused on finishing up their debut album "Wells." (which was finally released this year) Four tracks and lyrics are posted on their otherwise abandoned MySpace Music page. The album is the basis for higher expectations, the songs I've heard are nicely produced, well crafted and energetically infectious.

For a young band they've done very well, and if this is as far as they get... they've still gone further than most. It seems that with school back in session, they've now returned to the classroom. The band's activity has subsequently dropped off. Their most recent appearance was a Duke City club date in June. An optimistic entry on their Facebook wall declares them "Still Alive" so we probably haven't heard the last from the Zags.