You know one of those days/weeks/years when you constantly turn to the golden oldies, since all the latest trends sound totally boring and crap, and you just wish something fresh would come along and completely knock you off your feet? Well, an hour ago, I got the shits knocked out of me completely, by a band from Wisconsin called the Zebras.
The members are also active in bands such as Call Me Lightning and Those Poor Bastards, and their debut album has been recorded in 2011. This is their second album, and between the albums they have apparently played along such notable acts such as Black Flag, High On Fire and Goatwhore. Pretty cool.
The album begins with very energetic Crossover / Thrash, and I am highly impressed by the strength and determination of the band, from the handling of the instruments to the very nicely performed vocals. Most of all I am however blown away by the dualistic feelings of the overall musical experience, which gives me feelings of the old-school (reminding me of course of bands like D.R.I.) as well as amazing more artistic and modern stuff (me being a huge fan of bands such as Today Is The Day). The energies of this album are full of teenage DIY-fire and more mature well-performed and professionally produced atmospheres.
The songs move between very Thrashy beats to more Hardcorish mid-tempo parts, technical jamming, and even Doomy and Sludgy grooves, while often going to uplifting and even epic feelings. The riffs and the drum-patterns are crafted in a way they easily reveal the great playing- and arrangement-skills of the band-members, without being too flashy or pompous. Meaning this material has to work pretty well in live circumstances. The guitar sounds are quite sharp while the basses are low and heavy, and the pounding drum-sounds work perfectly in between these two opposites balancing the powerful experience. The vocals are one of the most awesome aspects of this album, being screaming and clear at the same time, delivering thought-provoking lyrics song after song. Very fucking professional indeed, fitting this style of music as well as possible.
If you love the Crossover-feelings of the eighties, some later artistic Noise Rock, and some Rocking groovy Sludge at the same time, you gotta check this album out! And they have a release show coming up with none other than D.R.I..!