Zebrahead – Broadcast To The World

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Zebrahead

Broadcast to the World - Icon Records

The future for Zebrahead was fairly unknown last year when they announced that lead singer Justin Mauriello was leaving the band due to creative differences that had been going on for years. The band then went underground, auditioning new replacements and writing a new album. Now, around a year later the Orange County quintet is back with a new singer, new label, same sound and good old fashionZebrahead fun.

Broadcast To The World is the band’s return to the forefront. With a revitalized vision and tons of energy, Zebrahead bring their unique spin on the pop-punk world once again. Combing spoken words vocal delivered in rap-like fashion and the much more polished vocals of new-comer Matty Lewis, the listener is treated to a sonic roller coaster of speeds and texture. Lewis has done a good job in filling the shoes of Mauriello, at times you can barely notice the change. Sadly, Lewis doesn’t have the same reach for the slower tracks like Karma Flavored Whisky and Your New Boyfriend Wears Girls Pants that Mauriello used to have. It’s also quite evident that rapper Ali Tabatabaee has stepped forward more here, as the band use his vocals to their advantage much more than before which is most definitely a positive thing for his hoarse vocals give the songs a much needed boost of energy. Still, for joining an already well-established band so late in their career, Lewish has done a good job and most fans will be pleased with what they hear.

On top of the signature alternating vocal styles, Zebrahead is able to maintain their high-energy punk rock fused with funk sound. You get the anthematic Anthem, followed by the quirky, catchy, and fastEnemy before slowing it down a bit and leaving the speedy skate-punk sound for a slower, reggae-tinged track Back To Normal. These alterations keep up throughout the entire album, making it into a varied but continuous album. Tabatabaee’s vocals come blaring at you in anger while Lewis calms it all down a bit, throw in some crazy guitar riffs and steady drum beat heavily tinged with cymbals and you get a fist-pumping, punk rock anthem that is both mindlessly enjoyable and technically sound all at once.

It’s been a while in the making, and there were some doubts on the outcome, but Zebrahead has come back with a solid follow-up to MFZB that any fan will enjoy. It’s energetic, unique and catchy, three elements that all pop-punk albums need to succeed.