Founded in 1995 in Orange County California, Zebrahead are a punk rock band. Their new self-titled album is set to be released this Friday, March 8th via MFZB Records and it’s the groups 13th studio album. The current lineup of the band is vocals and rapper Ali Tabatabaee, guitarist Dan Palmer, guitarist and vocalist Matty Lewis, bassist Ben Osmundson and drummer Ed Udhus.
When Both Sides Suck, We’re All Winners is track one and kicks off with some funk electronic synth before the punk rock guitars and drums come in. Tabatabaee takes the lead with the vocals and the rapping on the record showing off both his ability to spit quick rhymes and hold a tune. Lewis shares the vocal duties and provides some kick ass backing vocals throughout.
I Won’t Let You Down and All My Friends Are Nobodies are tracks two and three respectively. I Won’t Let You Down would fit in nicely on a Rage Against The Machine record in parts, while it would fit in nicely on a pop record in others. There’s a great mix of punk rock and electro -pop on this track and it’s three and a half minutes of fun. All My Friends Are Nobodies wouldn’t go astray on an early Blink-182 or Sum 41 record and has elements of punk, pop-punk and rock throughout. Osmundson and his bass are a real standout on this track and you can’t help but listen to how well the bass plays with the rest of the instruments.
Track four is We’re Not Alright and you better have your jumping shoes on, and your gang vocals voice ready to go! The chorus of the track is filled with the title lyrics and you’re going to want to sing along and get out any emotions that you may be feeling. It’s high energy and fun from start to finish and you wouldn’t get bored of it listening to it over and over.
You Don’t Know Anything About Me and Chasing The Sun come next and the party continues. You Don’t Know Anything About Me is the song you play at your school dance or birthday to really get the party going. It’s fast, poppy and buckets of fun. The rapping that was less prevalent in previous tracks makes a reappearing in Chasing The Sun, and lasts for the majority of the track except for the chorus. It’s also mostly driven by the Udhus are his punchy drumming that gives the whole track a great feel and vibe.
Track seven is Party On The Dancefloor and it’s boppy, poppy and fun with an epic guitar solo thrown in towards the end of the track. “Oh we’re just having fun, it’s a mad world” are the main chorus lyrics and are a pretty accurate description of the track. Do Your Worst is track eight and like with My Chemical Romance’s ‘Dead’ off the fabled ‘Black Parade’ album, is a track that you’re not really expecting. It’s got a rocking beat , a fun guitar solo, and a whole lot of relatable lyrics.
All Die Young is track nine and the rhythm section really get a workout with the drums and bass being one of the attention drawing parts about the song. There’s a lot of range to the final vocal on the track and it’s an interesting change up from the pitch and pace of the rest of the vocals on the track.
Next comes Up In Smoke which yes, is a metaphor for what you think it. If punk rock is about sex, drugs and music then this track is gonna be an anthem for you. It’s also got a lot of rise and fall throughout, with guitar parts that are a little Tom Morello. It’s a mix between a chill vibe, and a party vibe, so if you can’t decide the best time to listen to it, why not listen to it in both states of mind and decide what you like best. Oh and have fun trying to whistle along too!
Track eleven Ichi, Ni, Sun, Shi brings back the punk vibes that were maybe missing from the last couple of tracks. Zebrahead really don’t like being pigeon-holed into one genre and this track has a mix of elements ranging from punk to metal. While some of the earlier tracks and get up and jump around tracks, Ichi, Ni, Sun, Shi reminds you that you’re listening to a punk band and you need to open that fucking pit up and headbang.,
While you need to pogo, windmill and headbang in Ichi, Ni, Sun, Shi you’re going to need to slow yourself back down again for Take A Deep Breath (And Go Fuck Yourself). Put on your baggy jeans and your backward cap for this one and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Better Living Through Chemistry is in the unlucky thirteenth spot on the record but it’s anything but! It’s the shortest track on the album but it’s got rap, it’s got electronica, and it’s got punk rock. Although situated so far down the running order, Better Living Through Chemistry was one of the highlights of this record for me.
Finally you come to the final tack, Bullet on the Brain. Get ready to work out what energy you have left with this one as you’re gonna need it. It’s fast and dirty and wonderful. You can headbang or jump around to this one, or, you can do all of it at once. It’s a great closing track and is really a celebration of what the thirteen tracks before it have brought.
‘Brain Invaders’ is a perfect title for this record and that’s exactly what it does to you. It invades every part of your brain and demands that you pay attention. It’s a 14 track rollercoaster of genres, riffs and punchy drums.
Pre-Order ‘Brain Invaders’ out March 8th via MFZB Records HERE!