Zebrahead MFZB

Ditching the sophomoric humour that played a large part of their first two releases, Zebrahead attempt to take a more mature route on this, their third record. This newfound maturity does not mean a sacrifice of the catchy melodies and clever songwriting that has always characterised their best work in the past, but rather indicates a shift away from the novelty songs and juvenile lyrical subject matter that often marred their earlier efforts. Ali G’s rapping remains as important to the mix as always, helping set Zebrahead apart from their pop punk counterparts, while a less produced sound does the band great justice as musicians, allowing them room to prove themselves as such. One even more noticeable step forward for the group is the strength of the record as a whole; past Zebrahead albums could, at times, become nothing more than test discs for the skip mechanism of your stereo. MFZB, however, remains strong throughout, offering up hook after hook after rap breakdown. An impressive release from a band that constantly seems poised to break into the mainstream; maybe this will be the one to finally push them over the edge. (Sony)