After more than a year as a band, Raleigh's Black Zinfandel remains slow to take their caveman-stomp garage-punk into a studio. Instead, they've been a steadily sporadic presence on local stages, pushing their proto-punk roar into new directions. These days, they're as likely to drop into meandering psychedelia as shift into an R&B burst. If and when a Black Zinfandel record ever surfaces, it should be worth the wait. Richmond's Ar-Kaics veer slightly more toward pop, suggesting the Nuggets-born hooks of Austin's Humms or even a younger, scrappier Black Lips.
—Bryan C. Reed