Review Summary: Being the last release from Zebrahead before the replacement of their lead vocalist, “Waste of MFZB” also proves to be one of their best works.
Jumping into the album right away, the opener “Are You For Real?” is demonstrates right away what this band does best, and where its strengths lie. Lyrics that succeed in their simplicity, stripping away all the figurative language, and pretentiousness, and leaving the listener with lyrics that mean exactly what they sound like they do. While I’ve criticized bands in the past for doing similar things, the difference here lies in the fact that despite simplistic, they do so in a way that not only doesn’t pander to the listener, but actually treats them with some respect. A far cry from artists like Nickelback, or really any other pop-metal band. The other aspects of the song are all great too. Although it isn’t too complex or technical, it knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t try to be something that it’s not. The instrumentation here is good enough to be engaging, but it manages to be restrained enough to allow for the vocals to still be focus of the song. While this seems like something that should be a given, a great many bands fail on that aspect, as they overcomplicate and overproduce the music, to the point of where it distracts from the lyrics. Luckily, no song on this album falls into that trap, and this song specifically benefits most from this aspect, as the vocals here are excellent. They’re some of the cleanest vocals on the album, and the emotion in the delivery of the lyrics is more obvious as a result. Overall, this first song is excellent, serves primarily as a means of displaying both the incredible inflection and range of the band’s singer, (the one who left after this).
The remainder of the album continues this trend of being really good. As it goes on, you will of course see some experimentation and variation in the sound, but on the whole, the first track on this thing is probably the song you’d listen to, in order to determine whether or not this album is the one for you. However, their cover of “Wanna Be” by Spice Girls is very very good, and could quite easily introduce you to the band’s style, while still not being too unfamiliar.
I haven’t brought it up yet, because if you’re on a review of the most obscure LP released by a band that already isn’t too popular in America, on a website like this, than you were probably already were aware of this band’s style of music. But for the uninitiated, in addition to the sung vocals, the band has a guy who raps. And aside from having a last name that I have no idea how to pronounce, he’s excellent in this album. When the lead singer left, this guy stuck around and his distinct style is definitely the core of the band. Though he is very good on this album, he appears less on this one, than he has on previous works, or releases after it. But it is worth noting that he is indeed really good.
And despite being a full length album, there really isn’t much more to say about it. This is a very uncomplicated album. This is an album that just does everything right, and all that really needs to be said. While it doesn’t quite reach the status of its sister album, MFZB, it comes very close. There are a few songs that just aren’t nearly memorable as they need to be, but none are bad. As a whole, this album is just really good. If you like Zebrahead, you like this album. I don’t even need to know whether or not you’ve listened to it to know that you like it. If you don’t like Zebrahead, then this will do little to sway you. But I’d still suggest that everyone tries giving it a listen.