Zebrahead – II (EP Review)

Back in the late ‘90s Pop Punk was a prime commodity. Bands like Blink-182, Sum 41, New Found Glory, and Green Day were dominating the mainstream music world. Then came something a bit different, and their name was Zebrahead. Formed in 1996, Zebrahead was unique from others on the Pop Punk scene because they utilized influences from Pop, Punk, and Rock, but also Metal as well as Hip Hop. A style that set them apart, by the time the new millennium rolled around they solidified themselves with memorable records like 2000’s Playmate of the Year, 2003’s MFZB, and 2006’s Broadcast to the World, among others. Continuing along, all while weathering the winds of change, nearly three decades later, Zebrahead are still standing.

Last putting out a full-length record in 2019 with Brain Invaders, there has not been much down time since, because they have dished out a slew of EPs in its wake. A smart move, considering how fragmented the modern music world is, in case you missed it, Zebrahead have put out three EPs in the last four years.

To recap, that is Wanna Sell Your Soul? in 2020, III in 2021, and most recently, II in early 2023. If you are keeping count, that is fourteen songs in total if you combine all three EPs… so that sort of is an album, right? Anyway, if you need time to catch up on what the band has been doing, it would be a cool idea to sit down and listen to each of these EPs in chronological order. All offering something a bit different style and tone wise, the latest, II arrived back on February 3rd through the band’s own label, MFZB Records.

An EP consisting of five tracks, it is a rapid listen that does not falter much at all. What does this mean? It means you get five pieces of music that are heavy, diverse, and full of energy. Displaying elements of Metal, Rapcore, and even some Ska, Zebrahead brings a sincere mix that really fits well. With songs like “No Tomorrow” they bring some great melodies and witches brew of rapping and clean singing vocals. Then “Licking on a Knife for Fun” offers more heaviness matched with irresistible vocal hooks. This is while “Evil Anonymous” is perhaps the most addictive song of the bunch, “Middle Seat Blues” blows you away with a retro Rap Rock style, and “F.I.F.U.” wraps things up with more of the same… but just featuring a bit more of a Pop Punk vibe.

Overall, II is a really fun EP filled with music that harks back to a time when bands wore their hearts on their sleeves all without beating you over the head with some agenda. Now, this is not to say Zebrahead are indifferent to the manic world, in fact, it is the opposite. Their lyrics are very much real to life and relatable, especially if you are sick and tired of all the idiocy on all sides of the spectrum surrounding you. A welcomed listen in 2023 and highly recommended for Metal and Punk fans alike, Cryptic Rock gives II 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Zebrahead – II / MFZB Records (2023)

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