A punishing American hardcore unit based out of Seattle, Washington, Zeke's Gatling-gun riffing and bluesy hard rock demeanor draw as much from heavy metal -- particularly speed and thrash -- as punk, splitting the difference between Motörhead and Black Flag. Beginning with their debut single, "West Seattle Acid Party," in 1993, Zeke carved a path of sonic brutality that saw them rise from regional D.I.Y. punk upstarts to national headliners via career-best outings like Kicked in the Teeth, Death Alley, and 'Til the Livin' End. In the mid-2000s the band teamed up with Relapse and adopted more of a heavy metal-forward style -- the group went on hiatus in 2007, but returned in 2018 with a new studio LP, Hellbender.
Founded in 1993 by Blind Marky Felchtone, Donny Paycheck, Mark Pierce, and Dizzy Lee Roth, the band issued a handful of singles before releasing its debut long-player, Super Sound Racing, in 1995. The group's sophomore effort, Flat Tracker, arrived a year later, and caught the ear of Relapse Records, which put out 1998's Jack Endino-produced Kicked in the Teeth. That release, along with a rigorous touring schedule, helped to establish the band outside of the Pacific Northwest.
Featuring a high-octane take on Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon," 2000's Dirty Sanchez saw the departure of Mark Pierce and the arrival of new bassist Jeff Matz. The LP was supported by tours of the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia, sometimes alongside decibel-pushing contemporaries like Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), All, the Voodoo Glow Skulls, Pearl Jam, the Supersuckers, and D.O.A. Arriving in 2001, Zeke's typically full-throttle fifth LP, Death Alley, would be the group's last studio outing for Epitaph. They issued the concert album Live and Uncensored in 2003, and quickly inked a deal with Relapse, resulting in the release of 2005's more metal-centric 'Til the Livin' End.
A pair of split 7" releases, one with Disfear and another with Peter Pan Speedrock, appeared in 2004 and 2005, respectively, and in 2007 the band issued a digital EP, Lords of the Highway. A lengthy hiatus preceded the release of the group's seventh full-length outing, Hellbender, which featured a retooled lineup consisting of Blind Marky Felchtone (guitar, vocals), Kyle Whitefoot (guitar), Kurt Kilfelt (bass), and Dayne Porras (drums). ~ James Christopher Monger