Zebrahead

Broadcast To The World

Written by: TL on 24/06/2006 13:00:58

When you first put on the latest release from Zebrahead, as a reviewer, you seriously feel like bashing it. From just listening to the first song, you know for sure, that this will be 12 songs of pure and predictable pop-punk like the stuff you used to love back when you were just starting to get into rock music and knew nothing of it.

That’s not all you get from listening to the first song, and to stay with the negative stuff, let me just express my complete and utter inability to understand why the band has chosen to start of the album with a f*ckin annoying static-kinda sound that goes on through an entire song. If you don’t skip the first track simply because it’s so cliché it makes you nauseous, then you sure will do so when you get a headache from listening to that weird sound.

Fortunately, the rest of the album hasn’t got more nasty surprises like that, and tracks 2 and 3 “Rated ‘U’ For Ugly” and “Anthem” are even decent songs. Let’s face it, there’s no real innovation here, but there is a band holding it’s form and delivering some quality energetic pop-punk spiced up with some rapping and even some ska-like elements in the song “Anthem”.

When you first hear of Zebrahead, you might be tempted to think, that the rapping is simply a gimmick to make the band stand out (Violin, Yellowcard – Need I say more?), but in actuality the rap-parts are a driving force in the momentum-machinery of the band, and nowhere does it feel like it’s out of place. If the same could be said for the actual lead-vocals in the choruses we would have one hell of an entertaining album on our hands, but sadly, that’s not the case. Just listen to “Karma Flavoured Whiskey” that starts out with a short ballad-like intro, comes into some nice riffs and rapping, and then when momentum builds and the song goes “Out come the wolves!” suddenly there’s a clean-sung chorus that just makes the sound implode. It completely kills the energy the otherwise excellent rap-parts had built up. Overall the rapping oddly feels ‘rocking’, where the real vocals seem impassionate and boring.

By now you probably think that this is a pretty bad album, but read on for a while, because that’s really not the case - there are pros to this record. The rapping is integrated in a really cool way. The ska-ish bass-work stands out and adds a nice groove to songs like for instance “Anthem”. Production is good, and the song-writing too. Lyrics might not be intellectual pearls, but they make just about every song catchy as f*ck. I started out hating this album, but after hearing it twice, it just wouldn’t leave my thoughts, and now I actually hear a couple of songs regularly. Though not on the same level as earlier songs like “Rescue Me”, this is actually a decent pop-punk record, and despite the fact that other bands have done stuff like this for years, it still works just the same.

Download: Anthem, Rated “U” for Ugly
For the fans of: Sum 41, Goldfinger, Green Day
Listen: Zebrahead@MySpace

Release date 03.07.2006
SPV Records
Provided by Target ApS

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