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Zebrahead - MFZB (Cover Artwork)

Zebrahead

Zebrahead: MFZBMFZB (2003)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: StewartDowouisStewart Dowouis
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I can see it now. Review after review will inevitably dismiss the new Zebrahead album (yes, I still call 'em albums), MFZB, as another piece of emotionless garbage by yet another group of trend-hopping, cash hungry, fauxhawk/trucker's mesh hats wearing wannabees. The unfortunate thing about that, ho.
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I can see it now. Review after review will inevitably dismiss the new Zebrahead album (yes, I still call 'em albums), MFZB, as another piece of emotionless garbage by yet another group of trend-hopping, cash hungry, fauxhawk/trucker's mesh hats wearing wannabees. The unfortunate thing about that, however, is that this band is truly amazing. Those who are quick to throw this one in the trash bin are definately depriving themselves of something really special.

Yeah, I know the scene is beginning to overexpose and homogenize a once vibrant and exciting genre of rock music, namely emocore/post-hardcore/pop punk, with countless clone bands like Story Of The Year and Hidden In Plain View and The Starting Line, but if we can for a minute, let's suspend those preconceived notions and take a look at this record.

Those of you who experienced the same sense of musical disarray that I did in the late '90s may remember zebrahead as the band with the cliche' hip hop styled verses, but incredibly bright and ridiculously insane catchy choruses. During a time when bands like the Goo Goo Dolls, Lit, Blink 182, Limp Bizkit and Korn all melded together into one giant, bland, pop musical experience (not taking anything away from those bands individually), Zebrahead showed signs of genius. Yes, they lacked a certain degree of individuality at that time, but they more than made up for it with their dynamic sense of harmony, musicianship and songwriting skills. These guys command their individual instruments and compose some of the most awe inspiring melodies in rock today.

Four years since their last full length release, they return with MFZB, 15 tracks of growth and creative maturity unmatched by most current 'major label' bands. By toning down the "hip hop" thing a bit without completely selling that aspect of their sound out, they've fashioned together 15 songs that come across with the same speed and intensity of the most pop "punk" punk bands out there these days AND the crisp choruses of classic bands like Boston and Def Leppard. Those of you who write music know just how difficult a combo like this can be to pull off successfully. Not only did Zebrahead do it here on this record, but they pulled it off in mindblowing fashion. It's hard to hold what they lack slightly in the originality department against a group that's just so damn talented.

Songs like 'Type A' would give NOFX a run for their money. The chorus to 'Into You' would leave Christopher Cross scratching his head in disbelief. LL Cool J would be jealous of their "flow."

This record also pulls off politically themed songs without alienating listeners who may not be all that concerned with the current mess created by the Bush administration. There are plenty of tracks on MFZB that deal with heartbreak and self reflection like 'The Set-Up' to match the politically charged (yet mild in content) messages of others like 'Rescue Me' and 'Strength,' a song that I personally think should be the liberal anthem of '04. Simply put, there is a little something here for all of us. It is the perfect capsulation of this moment in rock music history.

Unless you're a maniacal punk purist (unfortunately, most of you probably are) I'd suggest that you give it a shot. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. Don't be afraid of the whole hip hop thing. This time around the rap parts are much more rock than "gangsta"; much more Rage Against The Machine/Red Hot Chili Peppers than Limp Bizkit/Linkin Park. I think they've finally found their sound by melding all of these different influences together in one smoothly flowing package. Nothing on this album sounds forced. Every single moment of it sounds energetic and sincere. It's scary to imagine how much better these guys will get with each passing album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Green Day - NimrodGreen Day - WarningGreen Day - InsomniacAnti-Flag - The People or the Gun.Anti-Flag - The Terror StateAgainst Me! - White CrossesGreen Day - American IdiotRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteTegan and Sara - The ConZebrahead - Broadcast to the World

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (April 21, 2006)

falling apart is fucking awesome

Anonymous (April 21, 2006)

i think that this band is the greatest in history now i know that might seem a little werid but dude i really dont care this band is what music sould be. ZEBRAHEAD ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous (April 21, 2006)

yeah i love this band I dont give a shit what others say the band and the album is kick ass

Anonymous (December 12, 2005)

Exceptionally catchy album. Definately more serious than previous efforts. Just like other Zebrahead albums (Waste of Mind particularly) I wouldn't say it's an album you keep in your rotation for years on end, but if you have a bunch of music on random and a song off this album comes on, I think you'd definately leave it on.

Well if you even liked the album to begin with.

Anonymous (February 25, 2005)

although i usually don't like fusion-rock bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine, Zebrahead suprised me in a good way. Mixing some hard rock and sharp lyricks, this cd is a testimony of a very good band.

Anonymous (February 2, 2005)

Awesome album........i duno wot da otha wierdos were talking about when they were taking the mick outta Zebrahead!!

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

they best band ever and songs especiallythe songs rescue me and falling apart

Anonymous (October 31, 2004)

Anyone who dosent like this album dosent know a damn thing about punk rock...... All you people want is generic punk bands like lagwagon or nofx it makes me sick. This album is by far the most underated album as were their other albums. They stick out and thats what makes them good you want to talk about bands who just play loud and fast look at nofx they blow and im not afraid to say it they suck they are unoriginal,and you can love zebrahead or hate them but they are original and they are verry important to the sceine..............

Anonymous (September 19, 2004)

yip yip yo yo yo wut yo yo

not as good as bibblefish massacre but still better than penguin bath of bum fluid.

all in all i dont think that ....... erm yeah wut was i saying

Anonymous (June 14, 2004)

Just saw the corprate shit comment....

Before you just write these guys off know that they get zero backing from thier label and everything is done diy just like all of your "real" punk bands out there. Lets get the facts straight before talking shit. Oh, and actually listening to the album with an open mind helps...

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

c'mon guys, the rapper is not even white. get your facts straight.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

I just want to clarify that the negative NOFX comment cited below was not written by me. I love me some NOFX.

-Stewart Dowouis (dude who wrote this review)

trodgor (April 15, 2004)

"Probably because NOFX consists of a bunch of closed-minded assholes who would already be dead if they didn't have George Bush's stupidity to make them cool to the kids."

so i guess all those completely badass albums BEFORE they knew who Bush was meant nothing. fucking right wing nazi.

Anonymous (April 15, 2004)

OHMYGOD. fuck these guys.

I HATE HATE HATE ironic white kid hip-hop
SO
MUCH

also these dudes totally suck

Anonymous (April 15, 2004)

I really can't say this enough = this band is ass. Ass, ass, ass. The same can be said about Sugarcult. Ass x 10 = these two bands.

-c22

Anonymous (April 14, 2004)

"YOU IDIOTS! Zebrahead rules all. Incredibly underrated."

I agree.

Anonymous (April 14, 2004)

Man i couldnt agree more...i thought id hate it...but i gave it a chance. its so so so awesome

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

"...this band is truly amazing."

"zebrahead showed signs of genius."

wow

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

YOU IDIOTS! Zebrahead rules all. Incredibly underrated. Give up the screamo and emo and all that shit its lame anyway and throw on some MFZB. Maybe youll pick yourself up and out of the corner where your crying about some girl while dressed in black and worrying about your hair style.

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

"Only white Eminem/Fred Durst wannabes say 'haters'."

Shut up man, quit drinking haterade!
-Freddy Dizzle from the Limp Biz yall, back up back up!

ElVaquero (April 12, 2004)

yesh, thish ish not worsh a 9

mikeshitter (April 12, 2004)

I guess most people think it's a little too "ass-kissy", like Jason Tate writing about Yellowcard or something. Hey, I like this album as much as the next guy (definitely better than Playmate), but you're heaping on the praise with a shovel, when maybe all you need is a tablespoon.

MaJolie (April 12, 2004)

These guys are more like Crazy Town than Lagwagon.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

Oh, I knew that there would be a few people that "hated" the band and would call the album crap, but I didn't expect the focus of several of the comments to be on my writing skills. I've seen far worse writing skills here in the past.

Does this review really make me sound like a zebrahead "fan boy"? It just sounds like a positive record review to me.

ForrestLaw (April 12, 2004)

maybe if the reviewer didn't write a review with this holier than thow, "i can appreciate this, but i know i'll be the only one who does" attitude, people would ate least respect the review.

TheMarc (April 12, 2004)

Hey reviewer: You didn't realize your review would get so many people's panties wet?! You must not be familiar with how people respond to reviews here. Don't take it personally.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

Only white Eminem/Fred Durst wannabes say 'haters'.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

this cd is really good, better than 'playmate of the year' which was a bit too radio friendly and trl poppy. If you like edgier pop punk with some hip hop/funk thrown in, you'll dig these guys alot. One of my favorite albums of '03, def. in my top ten. fuck the haters.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

see you later dude!

-Forrest Law

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

i don't know if i'm cool enough to listen to this.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

These guys have found a newer, more pure form of crap-rock.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

Damn, kids.

Didn't realize that my little "review" of this record would get so many of your panties in a wad. I promise I'll never submit anything again. I never have before anyway. I typically just lurk here without commenting or submitting anything. I noticed there was no zebrahead review here, so I simply copied and pasted my personal thoughts on this record from my live journal and made a few adjustments. If it sounds a little too "fanboy" as someone mentioned here, that's probably why.

And I still do believe that talent-wise, Lagwagon and zebrahead are in the same league. Both bands have great drummers and vocalists.

Believe it or not, I listen to a lot of music. I'm 28 and have been involved in the local music scene here in New Orleans since I was a kid.

Again, sorry for crashing the "punk" party.

*picks up zebrahead album and goes home*

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

This review is another April Fool's joke, right?

Mikeshitter (April 12, 2004)

I like Zebrahead, don't get me wrong, but saying they're in the same league as Lagwagon? Why? Because they play loud, fast music with guitars?

1. Joey Cape deosn't rap (not since the LL Cool J cover)
2. Lawgagon would never put out an album entitled "Motherfucking Lagwagon, Bitch"
3. You need to listen to more music.

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

That review came across as a little too fan boy to me. I would rather a review from someone with a little bit more of an open mind. You know, not quite so "Ohmahgawd, Zebrahead is like totally so my favorite band."
Not trying to be a dick, there was just a little bit too much worship there for me. And as a casual fan of the band, I guess maybe I want the review from more of that perspective.

...evildeadalive

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

smoked pot with skinhead rob after the dropkicks show in l.a. very recently. he is no straight edger. but his weed was quite tasty and stony as hell. just ask al barr.

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

awesome album.... go check out waste of mind too, because its really good also. Good band, and the guitars are insane. a really energetic band...

Anonymous (April 11, 2004)

"And I'm really curious as to how "Type A" could give NOFX a "run for their money"."

I knew that a lot of you would say that this commercial "pop rock" release had no business being reviewed on punk news, so I just thought I'd point out that, in my opinion, musically these guys are in the same league as bands like NOFX and Lagwagon. Sorry if NOFX fans take offense.

Then again...no I'm not.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

Actually I didn't expect anything from The Transplants, because I fucking hate Rancid. When it turned out to be an album of a straight-edger rapping about how he loves beer and Tim trying to sound Jamaican, my opinion of the man just lowered.

Transplants beat Zebrahead in the rap-mall-punk stakes hands down.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

one of the catchiest album I ever listened to.

this is very good.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

This disc is pretty good.

Nothing mind blowing but a good blast in the car type cd on occasion.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

When I hear the name Tim Armstrong the last thing I think of is musical revolution.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

the transplants only get so much shit because of the expectations they were subject to. with tim armstrong involved, everyone seemed to expect some sort of musical revolution. i think that it was a fine effort, hurt only by the awful lyrics in some songs

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

I still pop in waste of mind for the memorys i dont know why but it kicked ass in middle school. This band has talent but really just sound corny thats why no body listens to them.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

corporate shit

ElVaquero (April 9, 2004)

I still listen to Waste Of Mind. Does that make me uncool? Oh, NOES!!

dazed (April 9, 2004)

Joke band...

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

This band is a fucking joke...

-c22

Jesse (April 9, 2004)

Wow. I listened to the mp3 off their new album, the one linked on the post below. It was terrible. This band is terrible.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

This album, while it is good, isn't perfect and not everyone will like the mix of styles, but, well, I really like it and Zebrahead is one hell of a cool band who puts on a kick ass show so check 'em out if you're interested. You can download some MP3's at www.zebrahead.tv

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

hands down, transplants.

-Forrest Law

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

which is worse:

Zebrahead or The Transplants?

I sure as hell don't know...

stratmanx (April 9, 2004)

Good album and I'd say it's better than Playmate but still doesn't quite compare to Waste of Mind which rocked, no denying it.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

FYI - The new modest mouse CD is well worth a purchase. It ain't prefect but it is still damn good...

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Speaking of not reviewing albums review folly, modest mouse and the beautiful mistake..or someone who bought them are they worth picking up?

Imposs1ble (April 9, 2004)

Probably because NOFX consists of a bunch of closed-minded assholes who would already be dead if they didn't have George Bush's stupidity to make them cool to the kids.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

Don't like this.

TheMarc (April 9, 2004)

And I'm really curious as to how "Type A" could give NOFX a "run for their money".

TheMarc (April 9, 2004)

"Runaway" is one of the catchiest songs you will ever hear. I miss the higher-energy songs and the guitar solos from their older albums, though.

thriceequalsgod (April 9, 2004)

the songs i heard from this a while ago were pretty good..

i-type-poorly (April 9, 2004)

This album is fun. You can take your Modest Mouse cds and shove it.

adam (April 9, 2004)

"yes, I still call 'em albums"

So do a lot of us, what's your point?

Columbia put some type of funny copy protection crap on my copy of this that crashed whatever I tried to play it in. So that's why it was never reviewed by us if anyone was wondering.

-adam

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