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Walk the Plank
Release Date: October 16, 2015
For those unfamiliar, Zebrahead are the sound of Orange County. Similar, yet dissimilar, to the fun loving sounds of acts like The Offspring, 311, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, and The Bloodhound Gang, the band have been partying down since the mid-nineties kicking around between major and indie labels. Their latest, Walk the Plank, is their twelfth release and finds itself released by stalwart label Rude Records.
Zebrahead are more bi-polar than normal on Walk the Plank and it’s a refreshing change from all the other albums I have heard this year. The album is set up like this:
1. Heavy/alt rock-ish song
2.Poppier song that reminds you of fun times and California sunshine.
3. Repeat and continue.
For me, the poppier songs stand out the most because there aren’t a whole lot of fun sounds in music these days aside from what DJ’s are mashing together. “Worse Than This” is the highlight for me for just that reason. It’s a bright sounding, big guitar Pop Punk jam with a ska twist that makes me want to dig out my Reel Big Fish records. “Battle Hymn” incorporates a bit of Surf Rock guitar into the mix and when the big bgv’s hit the song quickly turns into one helluva anthem.
From the heavier side of the fence, the band are absolutely furious on “Kings of the Here and Now” and “Running With Wolves.” Both are straightforward Punk Rock ragers that remind me of a better time, when Punk Rock sounded both commercial and cranky. The Spaghetti Western suave of album opener, “Who Brings a Knife to a Gunfight?” is another bouncy tune full of cantankerous vocals and guitars that makes you want to immediately listen again.
While, I’d normally say that this is two different albums (and it kinda is), Zebrahead make it believable. Surprisingly believable. If you are looking for something slightly immature, really fun, completely different from the current crop, and thoroughly enjoyable then Zebrahead’s Walk the Plank could very well be just the medicine you need.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher