Zebras, “Zebras” LP

cover-zebrasMy first impression of Madison, Wisconsin’s Zebras was that they were like a more doom-laden Child Bite. Comparing anything to Child Bite is a fantastic starting point, as far as I’m concerned. More bands need to venture out into that great unknown, melding styles and genres until you can no longer accurately describe it to anyone.

Upon first glance, you’d assume the Gothic font, strange symbols, and Victorian image of a wooman expelling ectoplasm added up to classic doom metal. While there are some elements of the genre — drop-D tuning, a certain droning tone to the guitars — this is not a doom album.

First of all, Vincent Presley’s vocals are far too … snotty? Hystrionic? Frustrated? Whatever the tone is, this is an energetic album that fills me with panic. The stabs of electronics fuzz and throb and pulse constantly in the background, to the point that a pure droning guitar riff like the one near the end of “A Turd By Any Other Name” almost comes as a relief. That relief is soon obliterated by piercing keyboard tones, almost made worse by the brief respite.

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.

Frankly, for me, listening to Zebras’ self-titled is a cathartic experience. It gets out all of that nervous tension, unexplained angst, and unresolved aggression, and after putting it back on the sehlf, I feel as if I’ve been through some serious shit.

200 hand numbered copies on black vinyl with black inner sleeves, a full sized lyric insert, and matte finish jackets. There were 50 on colored vinyl, and they sold right the fuck out. For those looking to be total collector scum, there’s also a run of 100 CDs in hand-numbered digipaks, and 100 cassettes copies in clear green cassette shells.