Zebras / Press

“If you like thrash metal, but have misgivings as to whether Metallica ever publish something of the caliber again, or if you also thought the Slayers 'Repentless' was a half-hearted affair.....'The City of Sun' is an overwhelming experience. The album sounds like anything but a break for members. It is the sound of several years of accumulated aggression condensed down to a half-hour unruly flapping, and the album can stand on the goal of the best metal from 2015. It's like getting punched in the face for 30 minutes but without it ever hurts.”

“Funneling pure punk hardcore saccharine into the sweaty machine that is Zebras, the band’s sophomore album ups the ante of pushing to the limits of time and style. The guitar structure sends as many people into a head banging fury as there are pit jumpers. “Hollow Earth” is that battle cry that will get your attention. Forget the warm up, start running because it is nonstop all the way through. The City of Sun is simply riot inducing and will pump up your circulation with the adrenaline this band possesses. Add a well-oiled production and mastered release and you will hear a hardcore album at the top of its element.”

“an insane amount of anger and aggression.... It’s got a sort of Ministry inspired beat to it, those guitars grinding along with the percussion, and while it’s not an industrial track per se, it’s pretty intense.... ten tracks of unrestrained vocal insanity overtop of some seriously heavy, slick and tight playing. Great stuff.”

“these songs, in their way, are the catchiest ones Presley and Smith have crafted so far. They jostle and careen between different tempos and time signatures like math-rock, and they’re oppressive as hell, but they’re constructed so expertly and performed with such conviction that they’re far more infectious than any of Zebras’ past recordings”

“Somewhere between Unbroken and Today Is The Day (with a better singer) crossed with various eras of Neurosis.... It's great to hear a band take these inspirations and create something that doesn't come off as dull or over-blown”

JD - Maximum Rocknroll

“Listening to The City of Sun's like getting punched in the face for 30 minutes but instead of making goo, reinforces every shot just the indescribable, adrenaline pumping pleasure.”

“Zebras musically remind me of early Neurosis with their complex structures that meander and climb, growing in intensity, and they have this all-demanding presence. Lyrically, Zebras are on a whole other plane.”

“Funneling pure punk hardcore saccharine into the sweaty machine that is Zebras, the band’s sophomore album ups the ante of pushing to the limits of time and style. The guitar structure sends as many people into a head banging fury as there are pit jumpers.”

“Technical, violent thrash metal painted in shades of hardcore punk. Madison, Wisconsin-based Zebras have been on my radar for a while, their self-titled debut a memorable listen, and with The City Of Sun, we see this trio move further into the violent and vile. Boasting a member of legendary horror country troupe Those Poor Bastards in their ranks, expect a heavy dose of fear and loathing.”

“You know one of those days/weeks/years when you constantly turn to the golden oldies, since all the latest trends sound totally boring and crap, and you just wish something fresh would come along and completely knock you off your feet? Well, an hour ago, I got the shits knocked out of me completely, by a band from Wisconsin called the Zebras. Most of all I am blown away by the dualistic feelings of the overall musical experience, which gives me feelings of the old-school (reminding me of course of bands like D.R.I.) as well as amazing more artistic and modern stuff (me being a huge fan of bands such as Today Is The Day).”

“It’s ten tracks of unrestrained vocal insanity overtop of some seriously heavy, slick and tight playing. Great stuff.”

“ZEBRAS have a sound that gives birth to bleak, unpleasant and haunted melodies but also to party-like rythms with lots, lots of nerves. Their music can darken your feelings and after some seconds to uplift your mood. This is something unique and personally it holds my interest constantly, in levels so high.”

“It’s got catchy moments and brutal moments and the whole thing is just recorded with bile. Certainly not a fun listen, but definitely a good one.”

“Adrenaline and sketched, magnetic and senseless, yet firmly at the helm of their iridescent ship, the Zebras open positions by doom, complete with off and restart thrash-death ("The Dying Sea"), before emptying into meal voodoobilly galactic "The Mighty Bayonet," in which the hatching informal synth is already in its most acute phase”

“There is no sense of “the same song, different track.” It was heavy enough to wet my appetite with enough oomph to keep my adrenaline pumping throughout.”

“Finally, a disc that is needed simply for what it is: a mindless moment of bravery, but an explosion of control and saving a big black hole to the fourth dimension. Psycho.”

“The self-titled album from sonic manipulators Zebras quite simply is an album you need to know about and hear. If like us you are just becoming aware of the band then see this as the key to infernal rapture and if you already know the magnificence of the release than sit there nodding knowingly as we drool all over this review of one of the mightiest releases of last year.”

“Jello Biafra-style howl over a frenetic, fuzzy punk blast that would even make The White Mice pause as to the sanity of its inclusion on an album. It is irredeemably, spectacularly horrid and it rules – fans of adventurous noise rock will love it, and for all its foul ugliness, few bands match the adrenalin surge you’ll get from pumping this”

“I gotta say that even though it’s a brand spanking new record, I felt like I had gotten one of those old classics I’m always searching high and low for…a modern classic”

“Lacey Smith abuses a moog like it pissed on the rug and the way Vincent Presley yelps like Jello Biafra accosting you in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store. I’d never go so far to say that Zebras sound like The Meatmen, Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, or The Jesus Lizard because there’s too much manic metal in what they do, but they certainly share the same eye-poppin’, razor-trippin’ spirit”

“On the surface, Zebras’ music feels like Nineties noise rock the way it was done by bands signed to Amphetamine Reptile and Alternative Tentacles, but closer attention shows that they do with their very own means. The vocals are fiercely high and close to hysterical, and splendidly match the angular, unpredictable music. At times one might feel reminded of Jello Biafra with a more psychedelic outlook.”

“Despite the overwhelming sense of despair that permeates the LP, it’s the sort of album that just sits on your turntable. Listen to the Impending Doom side, flip over, listen to The Fate of the World Plagued By Soulless Shits side, repeat. It’s the sound of your mind trapped in an unending downward spiral, going to all the dark places you’re afraid to go yourself.”

“None of the lyrics would be as effective without the sonic force the Zebras are able to whip up. Call Me Lightning drummer Shane Hochstetler plays on much of Zebras—he also recorded the album—and his propulsive playing style adds much to the band's sound. Hochstetler's playing brings the band a harder edge and, as one might expect, there are nods to seminal punk (Dead Kennedys) and metal (Black Sabbath) throughout Zebras. Yet what really sets Zebras apart is their ability to integrate the attitude and sounds of industrial/noise acts like Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke and Men's Recovery Project. Taken together, it's a potent mix.”

“five seconds into the song Black Cancer and I was sold. I don't listen to a whole lot of noise rock, I'm simplifying here, but what I love about the style it the attitude, not like hardcore or punk where I love the energy, but the attitude. I love it when you can just hear the snarl and the spit coming forth from the vocalist. It just has so much passion, and energy, in it that I just can't ignore it. It's vibrant, even when they're playing more of a sludge based song, it's alive and things just feel like they're moving. The attitude of just playing with everything you've got, I can almost feel the intensity with which these guys are playing their instruments.”

“it's loosely sludge, kind of reminds me of a less chaotic Wizard Rifle, they'd go well on a bill with Towers or Akimbo, some vague doom referencing, and "Field/Noise" reminds me of a dark Queens of the Stone Age circa Lullabies without the Josh posturing.”

“It's too much hard describe this album, and this is the principal reason to love it. Anyway I'll try it. Maybe a bastard mixture beetwen Black Elk, first Antigua & Barbuda, with post-punk & punk schizophrenic rhythms ¿¿?? I don´t know why they remember me to Yeti to. Forthright to my TOP.”

“This made me jump up and down a lot. If you want to slip outside the rigid pigeon hole of todays music genres, give these boys a visit!”

“there's almost a note of triumph, as if a scrawny, angry kid finally landed his first real punch.”

“Acrobatic drumming is coupled with vocals ranging from breathless bellows to animalistic yelps and growls, all over a synthesised bass line and guitar riffs that hover in the grey area between metal and punk.”

“Zebras have released a limited-edition, hand-numbered blue and black vinyl version of their new album Parasitic Clones Under the Strong Arm of the Robotic Machine. Presley's vocals are reminiscent of early Dead Kennedys, while his guitar skills seem inspired more by late-‘80s thrash and speed metal—imagine Jello Biafra fronting Scatterbrain in 1989. There is no bass guitar. Rather, Lacey Smith provides the bass using a Moog synthesizer which, when combined with Pierce’s heavy drumming, lends to the aural onslaught and gives the sound some nice density. She also wrote and sings the track “The Spell,” which lands at spot number five and successfully allows the album to shift gears for a moment, and lets “Robot Machine,” by far the best track on the album, power the whole project to a great finish. Shooting by in less than 15 minutes, the entire album strikes the brain like a shot of espresso.”

Wonka Vision - Wonka Vision review of "Parasitic Clones" vinyl