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Zebrahead - Broadcast to the World (Cover Artwork)

Zebrahead

Zebrahead: Broadcast to the WorldBroadcast to the World (2006)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Writing this review made me feel like I've been living under a rock. I don't think I had ever heard Zebrahead before, but their name sounded vaguely familiar. I popped it in not knowing what I was gonna get, but with 'zing'-worthy song titles like "Your New Boyfriend Wears Girl Pants" and "Rated 'U'.
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Writing this review made me feel like I've been living under a rock. I don't think I had ever heard Zebrahead before, but their name sounded vaguely familiar. I popped it in not knowing what I was gonna get, but with 'zing'-worthy song titles like "Your New Boyfriend Wears Girl Pants" and "Rated 'U' for Ugly" I was expecting some Blink-style hijinx. I pretty much got that in the title track opener if only in the choruses, with the verses veering more towards a hardcore-meets-rap-rock thing. So I do some research and it turns out Zebrahead have been major label for most of their careers, since 1998's Waste of Mind on Columbia. Missed that one.`98, huh? The pop-punk-meets-rap-rock thing is starting to make sense. They're still goin' down that road though? Really? The other reviews pertaining to the band on this site are overwhelmingly positive with most comments in agreement. But I will not cave -- this shit is WEAK! I want to find that rock and crawl back underneath, never to hear Zebrahead again.

After their bad-assly titled MFZB album in 2003, the band lost their 'sing' half of the 'sing/rap' equation, Justin Mauriello, replacing him with Matty Lewis, who apparently sounds pretty much the same. I wouldn't know, but that's what I've heard. Ali Tabatabaee is still handling the rap duties. Just so you know.

All I know is that this album falls into a big formulaic rut right away, with rough-throated rap verses akin to Rage Against the Machine suddenly shifting to NFG pop-punk anthems in every damn song. Well, I guess "Back to Normal" switches things up with the poppiness coming first with light verses and some synth flute. It still has those rap vocals in there though, but the groove of this song makes it sound more natural. "Postcards from Hell" contains my favorite punk rock rhyme: "One, two, fuck you!," but that was only cool when LTJ did it long ago. "Anthem" gives us a little ska, because these guys just can't decide what they wanna do. "Karma Flavored Whiskey" lulls you into thinking they are trying something different with its synth strings and sparse piano plunks, but it quickly descends into Kid Rock territory. "Your New Boyfriend Wears Girl Pants" goes a little emo on us with a slower tempo, and the end result is actually passable.

If I could edit out the rapped verses of every song and just leave the choruses, we'd have a much better album. The chorus on "Anthem" is undeniably catchy, and "Postcards from Hell" gives the best Fall Out Boy sugar-coated hook a run for its money. Even then though, the pop parts are short on substance and it would still be a mediocre album.

I may get shit for this review because, for some reason that is beyond me, there are rabid fans 'round these parts. Maybe some of our readers got into punk due in part to these guys and have some sort of allegiance to them. I guess I can relate -- I gave later Goldfinger albums a chance for the same reason. But sooner or later you need to realize what made the band big years ago just isn't cuttin' it anymore.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - The DeclineBad Religion - No ControlLess Than Jake - Losing StreakZebrahead - MFZBDropkick Murphys - BlackoutGreen Day - NimrodBad Religion - Into the UnknownBouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer VacationBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordRise Against - Revolutions Per Minute

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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 9, 2007)

What a stupid fucking review.

At least get someone whos heard the band before to review them. Fucking hell. Morons

Anonymous (April 4, 2007)

How to enjoy this album: Open the CD case. Blast it with your window down driving along the beach. Have a great time.

When you get home, throw it out the window and run over it.

Anonymous (April 2, 2007)

the new singer is everybit as good as Justin if not better. and justin was a douche, apparantly he didn't write hardly any of their lyrics or music and was a dick and came off as very cocky at their shows.

Anonymous (April 2, 2007)

oh and my score

Paul

Anonymous (April 2, 2007)

haha i love Zebrahead but this review is pretty funny and accurate. they're not for everyone, especially because of the 'rap' thing. I love 311 and pop punk so...I dig these guys and always have since 98 when I played the shit out of 'waste of mind'. i'm not as into them as I was back then (and neither are the kids, their shows are a fraction of the turnout they had 5,6 years ago) but they're still good. the new singer guy does sound exactly the same, and the standout tracks are pointed out in the review (postcards from hell, back to normal) but its probably their weakest release (either this or playmate of the year) but both are undeniably fun and catchy and i've always been suprised they never blew up to be big, theres some bonafide radio hits on here if a label ever took the time to sign and promote em. take em or leave em, they're easy targets for haters but they're fun nice guys and a fun happy catchy band.

Paul

Anonymous (April 2, 2007)

I remember hearing this band in around 1999/2000 from this dumbass I used to know.......hell even then when I was just out of highschool and listening to subpar (for the most part atleast) Pennywise, Dr. Dre and Korn I STILL knew this shit sucked......can't even imagine how I'd feel about it now....yikes.

chokingvictim (April 1, 2007)

The new singer is from a local band from Lincoln Nebraska called Jank 1000. Pretty good pop punk if that's your thing.

Anonymous (April 1, 2007)

I know the april fools joke is that there are people out there who gave anything by zebrahead more than 1 star.

Kursk (April 1, 2007)

I can't believe this band is still around. I used to have Waste of Mind, but I quickly developed much better musical tastes.

Anonymous (March 31, 2007)

this album is catchy as hell. anyone who likes pop/punk would find something they like on it. do not expect the same band that did waste of mind, playmate of the year, and most of MFZB. it's a totally new style and matty's vocals fit it just fine. motha fucking zebrahead bitches!!

SydBarrett420 (March 30, 2007)

Thes guys have been bad for so long. They stink on album, They stunk when they opened for 311. Their hit song "Playmate of the Year" stunk. The only reason these guys had anything going for them is because they somehow managed to associate themselves with Playboy for a while a few years back.

shot_in_the_dark (March 30, 2007)

this reminds me of chronic future, which is cool because that was my first show.

Big_Guy (March 30, 2007)

I thought this album was way better than their others and I like the new singer better

fattony (March 30, 2007)

"It's hard to believe anyone will actually put out a record for them."

Joke's on you, they put it out themselves!

Oh wait, I guess the joke's on them.

chokingvictim (March 30, 2007)

I haven't listened to this yet, but I've always enjoyed them. "MFZB" was a fun album.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

Wow. Shit review for a tight album. I really dig zebrahead. Good guys and they have a unique sound. Fuck this review, check out the album if you want to hear something different.

jacknife737 (March 30, 2007)

That "playmate of the year" song is soo fucking lame.

niveK82 (March 30, 2007)

Worst Zebrahead album ever

ilikepunkrock (March 30, 2007)

I saw this band at warped tour last year, they were not good but they were better than a lot of the other bands at Warped.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

"i guess i'll write the locust review"

good luck.

Dante3000 (March 30, 2007)

You know who else is big in Japan? Godzilla.
Do I see a co-headlining tour in the works?
-Dante

TheMarc (March 30, 2007)

God help me, I listened to this album more than almost anything else last year. Okay, the raps are lame and the style is outdated, but it's just fun.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

Can anyone point me to some good HC/punk/crust record stores in Boston? I'll be in the area, and want to waste some $. I did a quick search and came up w/ ReGeneration records... Thanks
-feeeding5000

wallofyouth (March 30, 2007)

i guess i'll write the locust review

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

this record pretty much sucks but i wouldn't go so far as to write this band off. their first two records were a lot of fun and the new singer is pretty good, i just dont like these tunes.

btw, they aren't even on a major label in america anymore. they are signed to sony japan, where they sell like 10,000,000 records but in America, not so much..

Sapherlap (March 30, 2007)

"I don’t think I had ever heard Zebrahead before, but their name sounded vaguely familiar."
and

"I guess I can relate -- I gave later Goldfinger albums a chance for the same reason."

Those two quotes are what I would say, ha ha.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

This band was bad at the whole rap-rock thing way back in 1997. It's hard to believe anyone will actually put out a record for them.

nocigar (March 30, 2007)

good review. good score.

JayTee (March 30, 2007)

"One, two, fuck you!," but that was only cool when LTJ did it long ago.

Grimple did it before that, so have other bands I'm sure. Kinda funny how you rag on Zebrahead considering Less Than Jake is in that same circle of pop hell they are.

I-type-poorly (March 30, 2007)

For these guys, this is a great album, though they will always be a guilty pleasure band. I thought this album was great fun when I first heard it last summer, now the fun has worn off and I'm bored with it save one or two songs.

greg0rb (March 30, 2007)

It's not that I don't like rap at all, it's just the rap in here is really not that good, admit it! I'm not huge into rap and I will admit I don't know enough about it to talk at any great length. Yet I am impressed by a lot of rapper's rhythms and rhymes, or lyrical content. Not the case here on any of those elements.

Also, please don't base your opinion of a reviewer on something they wrote 3 or 4 years ago. I think any reviewer on here would say they have gotten better and/or their tastes have changed slightly in that length of time. And anyway, I agree with GreenVandal, I would rather listen to Fall Out Boy any day of the week than this. But it's all opinion. It's not like I'd think less of someone for liking Zebrahead.

-Greg

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

Such a bad band, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun.

"Falling Apart" kicks out the (rap-rock) jams.

FatTony (March 30, 2007)

It's a decent album, but Matty sounds a lot better live than he does on here. I dunno, changing vocalists is never easy and to me, it's still unnerving to not hear Justin on a Zebrahead album.

I think a better choice in reviewer is warranted though. To me, it sounds like this dude doesn't like rap in the first place.

baseball (March 30, 2007)

i must either be confusing this band with another one or only heard some really old stuff from these guys

i don't remember them sounding like this review describes their sound at all

sweetsuperior (March 30, 2007)

"This band is still making music?

- Kirby"

nope.

Greenvandal (March 30, 2007)

This is one of the worst bands to ever create music. Pepper is almost as bad. I would listen to Fallout Boy over this shit any day of the week.

MikeStupid (March 30, 2007)

Not into this band, but their cover of "OC Life" was decent.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

"i have noticed that the reviewer also only gave pepper two stars, but fall out boy got 3 stars, and fftl 3.5 stars?!?? maybe these reviews are a tad biased to what style of music the reviewer prefers."

No shit. There I was thinking a review was what someone else thinks of it. Of course he's bias to his own kind of music, thats the entire fucking point. What a dumbshit criticism. I don't know why I waste time getting mad over these things, but I hate people who miss the fundamental point of things.

kirbypuckett (March 30, 2007)

This band is still making music?

- Kirby

maladroit (March 30, 2007)

I really liked this album. These guys put on a hell of a live show and their label hasn't helped them with shit over the years.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

i have noticed that the reviewer also only gave pepper two stars, but fall out boy got 3 stars, and fftl 3.5 stars?!?? maybe these reviews are a tad biased to what style of music the reviewer prefers.

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

okay okay, first time I saw ZH was back in '99 on the warped tour. ever since then I always felt they had a very distinctive so-cal type sound. I love old songs such as "wasted" and "hell that is my life" their best album however is MFZB. I had listened to mfzb about 1.2 million times and started growing tired of it finally. when matty came along I was skeptical, but he is actually a good replacement. He has good energy, funny, and a voice that blends well with ZH! so I finally bought this album at warped this summer, and I think it is good, but to be honest it is not as good as mfzb. the timing of mfzb and the actual album were just perfect. I think broadcast gets close to being good but falls short at times. Ali still sounds great, but he doesn't sound quite as good as mfzb. I haven't listend to this album nearly as much as mfzb either. all in all I hope this band doesn't throw in the towel, and I hope they release another album soon and learn from some of the mistakes on broadcast. long live the ZH, hopefully!

GlassPipeMurder (March 30, 2007)

I couldn't disagree more with the comment below. Matt has a great voice, perfectly suitable for the type of music Zebrahead has come to play, whereas Justin had been dominating the songs with his over-the-top cheerleader-like singing since Playmate of the Year.

and when was the last time Drive Thru signed a pop-punk band anyway?

Anonymous (March 30, 2007)

Agree 100% with the reviewer. They replaced a decent vocalist with one who could have sang in any number of crappy Drive-Thru pop punk throwaway bands. This album is so fucking bland.

eatdogs (March 30, 2007)

by the way, these guys are freekin' huge in japan. this album went gold two weeks after it came out. it's probably higher than that by now. videos of them playing the summer sonic festival last year over there are insane.

GlassPipeMurder (March 30, 2007)

About time this got a review, but I think there must have been some kind of disconnect. Zebrahead is an incredibly talented band, and songs like "Anthem" and "Back to Normal" are some of their catchiest yet. I think a reviewer more familiar with Zebrahead may have been preferable.

eatdogs (March 30, 2007)

saw these guys in new mexico with patent pending and authority zero. great show and great energy. the new songs sound awesome and the singer is just as good if not better than the 'other' guy. the new tunes are more heavy than their early recordings. the band has upgraded and the album is way better than what the reviewer wrote.

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