It’s true that the Bridgeport band the Zambonis sings exclusively about ice hockey, but that’s not nearly as limiting as it first seems.
Tucked within songs about the fastest game on Earth are odes to family, friendship, teamwork and perseverance on “Five Minute Major (in D-Minor),” the Zambonis’ new album on Blue Line Recordings.
They’re big-hearted tunes, spanning styles and sounds tied together by the common thread of love for the game. Also, though, there’s an undercurrent of romanticism at work here, a sense of all-for-one togetherness as leader Dave Schneider and his crew skate through these 15 songs.
The Zambonis wear their influences proudly, paying tribute to NRBQ on a pair of songs, including a hockey-oriented rewrite of “Wild [Hockey] Weekend,” and digging into fast, punchy ska on “Skate Around the World.” The mid-tempo love letter “Hockey Mom” piles a lifetime of gratitude into less than 3 minutes, while a cover of the Atom & His Package song “Goalie” features a chorus of little kids singing the refrain, interpolated with “And We Danced” by the Hooters.
The heart of the album is the heart of any sports team: “Captain,” a joyous, jangling rocker stacked full of vocal harmonies and a stinging guitar riff. It’s immensely catchy, and the lyrical exhortations to keep striving are winsome and wistfully sincere: “The journey may get hectic/But if we all can rough it/In the end the team will win again.”
Nevermind hockey, that’s a good lesson for life in general.