Zach Frost – Bucket List
When I looked up the definition of a storyteller, I was hoping for something grand. But nope, it’s just someone who tells stories. That makes it sound so plain. And let me tell you Zach Frost is anything but plain. When I think of storytellers, he comes to mind, and if you know him the way I do, then you know why I say that. And it’s his amazing skill as a storyteller that makes him a great songwriter. I mean, they are one and the same, right?
I first came to know Zach Frost a few years back. I noticed he was at a lot of the same pop-punk shows I was, particularly ones featuring We Are the Movies. As it would turn out, he is/was their manager. Somewhere along the way, we started talking more and more. This actually became something I looked forward to, going to pop-punk shows at Donatos Basement and smoking a shit ton of cigarettes with Zach while talking about life. Those talks were very gratifying for me, as his outlook on the world is one that is honest and positive, and I always appreciated that.
Bucket List is his second release; both have been independent. This is no surprise as Zach is an old punk like myself. When he first mentioned he was working on music, I was beyond stoked as now the rest of the world could have what I and my friends had been getting outside of shows, the wisdom and stories of an old punk.
Zach does not waste any time with his words. The opener “Tombstone” is my favorite on the EP. This is one of those songs that I played/play over and over. It hasn’t gotten old. And I don’t think it will. This is one of those songs that I can hear Zach saying the words to me outside a venue, and you know what, he probably has. When I lost my job of 8 years last year, he was one of the first people to really talk to me and let me know things were going to be okay. The line in the song that hits home is, “It doesn’t matter what it says on your tombstone. No, just as long as you made the best of it.” And that’s what this song is about. We get so caught up with all these other things in life that we sometimes forget to just do the best that we can. And you know, most of the time, that’s enough.
“Rock Bottom” has been out for a few months now as the lead single from the EP. The way he starts this song is enough to grab anyone’s attention, it starts with the line, “This t-shirt is a metaphor of how I lived my life before. Tattered, full of holes, and worn. It wound up on the bathroom floor.” If you think about your favorite shirts, it probably looks like that. It probably has been through hell and back with you. It has seen rock bottom with you. I know mine has. That line also reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Nick Norah’s Infinite Playlist, “I never wash my pants. I like to keep the night on them.”
The storytelling doesn’t stop there. “Make the Oceans Move” has a bit of a country feel to it, and I’m here for it. It’s one of those songs that you will find yourself bopping your head to. The vocals on this track are also on point, they really shine here. What really sticks with me here is the spoken word at the end of the track. It’s some real honesty that a lot of us need to hear.
“Cheap Wine” is another standout. Yet again I appreciate the honesty here. He talks about the world live in and how we live. For example, there is the line that says “We live in a world where you work hard to buy things you don’t need to impress the ones who don’t mean anything. So now we’re wearing clothes that don’t fit. We might as well be pushing around shopping carts full of it.” Think about it: how true is that? And then you go home and drink cheap wine in fancy glasses. Makes sense, right? I also like the background vocals of Tim Waters, who produced the EP. They are a nice touch.
Overall this is a very solid release. It’s one that will make you think for sure. Be it how you are living or the world around you. It’s nice that music can do that for us. And it’s even better when it is coming from a talented songwriter.
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