Berkley, CA’s Sarchasm and Knoxville, TS’s Bad Idols have come together on the Splits & Ladders split album that features…
Zebrahead – III
III - Self Released
Ok, cards on the table, I think it’s only fair to point out that I’m a Zebrahead fan, and have been ever since I bought their second album, Playmate Of The Year, whilst browsing a record store (remember those?), looking at the 2 for 1 offer the shop was running. I think the other album I bought was More Betterness by No Use For A Name.
For anyone unfamiliar with the band, they are a heady mix of Californian punk with a dose of White dude rap (think Hollywood Undead with more guitars), which on paper might seem unlikely bed fellows. Sprinkle on a liberal amount of huge pop hooks and sensibilities, and you get close to a definition. When listening to a Zebrahead album, you can almost feel the LA sunshine pouring out of the speakers, and the waves lapping at Santa Monica pier. In short, they are the soundtrack of a good time party, where everyone’s your friend, the beer is cold and plentiful and all the people look like models and aren’t aloof – yes, of course it’s fantasy, but isn’t that what we all need a slice of in the seemingly constant “end of days” scenario’s played out across our TV and computer screens?
Lay Me To Rest opens the set with a touching un-typical Zebrahead piano intro, before it kicks into a more familiar guitar powered song, with a return to the piano driven refrain pre-chorus. It’s a cracking 5 star start to the EP, even if the theme explored is maybe a little dark.
A Long Way Down is a prime cut of pure Zebrahead – all pop hooks, tasteful guitar stabs and melodic break, and follows the dark theme which seems to pervade most of the five songs on offer here. However, in typical Zebrahead fashion, the sunshine bursts from the song to drench you in another glorious slice of Zebrahead, which takes your mind away from the lyrical content of overdose? This is another instant 5 star classic Zebrahead song, and my favourite on the EP.
Homesick For Hope – Explores the modern dilemma of the perils of social media mistakes, and the fallout of being “cancelled”. It’s a good song about the desperation of feeling like life is just too much, but again is upbeat and joyous.
Out Of Time – continues the theme of everything getting on top of you, and life being too much to carry on, but this time it’s a little more measured in it’s delivery. Self destruction has never sounded so melodic. Yet another 5 star song.
Russian Roulette Is For Lovers? – a return to the heavy side, a bit more screamy and is in my opinion, the weakest song on the EP. Having said that, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad song, just not quite as memorable as A Long Way Down.
I thoroughly recommend this EP to newcomers and old fans alike. Fantastic stuff.