The Zen Arcade – High Fidelity

From 2010 to 2018, The Strypes were a successful Irish quartet. They put out three critically acclaimed albums, which they promoted with gigs from Glastonbury to Fuji Rocks. They also performed on TV with Jools Holland and The Late Show With David Letterman, as well as being support act of Arctic Monkeys.

After The Strypes split, three of its members formed the band The Zen Arcade in late 2019.ย They first attracted an audience with their own zine Cro Mag Non and podcast Higher Fidelity. On behalf of the zine, they publish the PDFs online, which the fans print and piece together themselves. The podcast focuses on โ€˜music analysisโ€™. Episode โ€˜When Should They Have Stoppedโ€™ for instance, discussed great bands that continued past the moment they ruined their legacy.

The Zen Arcade just released their first EP High Fidelity. It contains last yearโ€™s debut single Donโ€™t Say A Word and a bonus episode of their podcast. Also included is the bandโ€™s new single High Fidelity. This track started life as the intro to their podcast series and has since been expanded into a proper song. โ€˜From jingle to singleโ€™, as the band say themselves. The same way Iโ€™ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts evolved from the โ€˜Friendsโ€™ theme song into a hit track.

Musically there are similarities between both bandsโ€™ sounds as well. Furthermore, The Zen Arcade name Hoodoo Gurus, The Jesus & Mary Chain, XTC and Graham Coxon as their influences. Bands that make my heart โ€˜pound in 5.1 surround soundโ€™, to cite a lyric from High Fidelity.

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