Review Summary: From the word go, Phoenix sounds like a bad Sum 41 rip off, and it doesn't get much better than that.
Zebrahead - Phoenix
This album starts off sounding like a really bad Sum 41 rip off, and unfortunately, it doesn't get much better than that.
Now don't get me wrong, skimming through this album the intro's sound pretty good but after a 30 seconds of each song, they turn into the same one as before. It seems that Zebrahead keep trying way too hard to turn every single song on this album into a 'catchy anthem'. The guitar parts are pretty catchy and cool but the rest of it seems really bland and brings nothing too special to the table. The band seem like they're trying to deliver the same mesages that Blink 182, and many other bands have already driven to us. (Although in my opinion the other bands did it better.)
To first time listeners of this band, they may find something in this that they like, but to me, I would pick any other Zebrahead album over this.
It feels like they have run out of ideas and I have noticed alot of repeating of older lyrics. (Eg. in Hit The Ground, the lines "Like a stake through the heart, and you play the whore, cause you burned my soul" is like a repeat of "Take my heart and my soul" from The Anthem).
They seem to have taken alot of influence (or ideas) from early Sum 41 songs with riffs that sound like they're from Does This Look Infected.
Now, I'm not going to say they didn't put any of their own effort into this album, because they did. The album is well produced and the singer makes the best of his voice most of the time, and the percussion is spot on.
The dynamics of this album are pretty good and in some songs, there's alot of emotion shown (Eg. All For None and None For All).
Another thing is that I expected to hear some clever music and lyrics from looking at the song titles (The Junkie and The Halo, Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right but Three Rights Make a Left and Death By Disco) but there is nothing hear that separates it from the other angsty Pop-Punk albums out there.
In conclusion, the album doesn't really appeal to me. This band is going to be a hit or miss with alot of people. It's style is pretty unique. They do what Linkin Park do but make it more fun and upbeat, but there is only so much you can do with this style before it all sounds too generic and manufactured.