Karen Zoid - Poles Apart

Poles Apart


  1. Set Of Wheels (Karoo Anthem)
  2. Yuppie Scum
  3. Afrikaners Is Pleserig
  4. Southern Sky
  5. Waitress
  6. Maak Nie Regtig Saak Nie
  7. Whore
  8. Whole In One
  9. Katriena
  10. Inspector Holmes
  11. Engel
  12. Callback
  13. Vleesbraai
  14. Taxi (Bonus Track)

June 2001, EMI, CDEMCD5938

SA Rock Digest charts:
highest position: 1
weeks on Top 20: 34

SA Rock Digest
Album of the Year 2001

Karen Zoid


  • Karen Zoid: vocals, guitar
  • Jono Hall: drums
  • Don Reinecke: guitars
  • Woody Swart: bass

  • Rhynie Greeff: additional backing vocals


Karen Zoid’s wonderful debut album, ‘Poles Apart’, brashly grabbed a major label release on EMI and arrived just as a new wave of South African rock acts were starting to make their presence felt, particularly Afrikaans bands. The movement needed a figurehead, and in a year in which the ladies led the pop-rock procession from the front, it got just that. Up stepped this smart, confident, vulnerable, funny, sneering, sweet, blonde rocker, with a sack of great songs, and an enthusiasm and belief in her and our music that should be bottled and made required sprinkling for all our South African artists and record companies. ‘Poles Apart’ was exactly the intelligent, emotional, and balming album that we needed to get through a tough year. Try imagining a blend of classic SA albums like ‘Edi Niederlander’s ‘Ancient Dust’, ‘The Pressure Cookies’, and Koos Kombuis’ ‘Elke Boemelaar se Droom’ and you’re getting warm.

This remarkably mature and consistently unboring album opens in stirring rock style with the rough, dramatic guitar chords of 'Set of Wheels (Karoo Anthem)’, which also drove off with the SA Rock Digest ‘Song Of The Year’ for 2001. Our new favourite South African road song warns us that we’re off on a Zoidian journey through contemporary SA. Travel under soft, folky ‘Southern Skies’, meet a very sarcastic ‘Waitress’ ("The food here is tasteless!"), and catch a ride with a chatty taxi driver who will tell you that "we live in a land where our celebrities are TV continuity announcers". She assures us that ‘Afrikaners is pleserig’ ("Dit kan julle glo!") and reveals that all her friends are ‘Yuppie scum’ ("they got the money, but I got the fun"). And dangling constantly from the rear-view mirror, and protecting us on this wild trip, is her ‘Engel’, an honest and utterly gorgeous two-and-a-half minute confessional ("Ek is so dronk soos Koos Kombuis, ek het geen swembad by my huis; My sister woon in Potchefstroom, die mense daar rook almal boom.").

On ‘Poles Apart’, Karen Zoid teases, rants and rocks her way through 14 tracks of perceptive, humorous and sensitive English and Afrikaans lyrics, all set to a backdrop of imaginative and solid South African rock sounds. It is an obvious and unanimous choice for our SA Rock Album of the year. As Nobesotho informed the nation, as she left the Big Brother house: "Chicks Rule!!". She’s absolutely right.

Stephen Segerman, December 2001

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