James Conlon and Paavo Jarvi and a professor or two from CCM might be able to tell you that Zelazowa is the birthplace of Frederick Chopin, but they might not be able to translate the Polish name into its loose English meaning, which is “steel will.” For that, you might require the talents of the Philadelphia quartet that christened itself after Chopin’s hometown and has gotten everything that they have accomplished in the past decade by virtue of the meaning that is contained within their name: Zelazowa.
The foursome — comprised of two brothers and two cousins — is a textbook example of the DIY ethic. Zelazowa self-releases their material (2005’s Rest Easy, 2007’s Polymorph EP, the just-released Elephants on a Mousehunt), manages their own business affairs and books their own tours across America and in 16 countries in Europe (so far). The band’s drive to succeed on their own terms is so impressive that filmmaker David Urbanic followed Zelazowa on tour two years ago and crafted a documentary about the band and its indomitable DIY spirit.
Sonically, Zelazowa delivers a howling combination of At the Drive In’s Post Punk frenzy, the Grunge-laden artfulness of Soundgarden, the needle-pegging squall of Mudhoney and Pavement’s off center view of just about everything, played with a power that makes their live shows much anticipated events along their self-designed touring path.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)