KING ZEBRA – Wild! Wild! Wild! (2015)
If you close your eyes and play “Wild! Wild! Wild!” – the new album from Swiss rockers KING ZEBRA to be released tomorrow – you would most likely think that this album was made sometime back in the mid to late ’80s and perhaps it had just been recently re-released since the sound & gain is louder than back in those days.
The melodies, hooks and choruses on this record are all reminiscent of that golden era in glam hard rock / hair metal.
Strongly inspired by the Sunset strip glory days, King Zebra’s new album is more hard rock than their debut (album being re-released as well) which was more glammy, sleazy, hair metal oriented.
So the likes of Dokken, Black N’ Blue, perhaps Extreme and Ratt are where these guys take the sound as reference in “Wild! Wild! Wild!”.
I admit that the gritty singing of King Zebra‘s lead vocalist Chip Leather (interesting name) took a little bit of getting used to at first but I find now that his rougher delivery works really well with the polished guitar driven ’80s music that his bandmates produce time after time, track after track.
It has been said many times, but perfectly apply here: if King Zebra‘s “Wild! Wild! Wild!” had been released back in the ’80s, the band could have been huge.
If you haven’t figured out from the band members’ names or silly group name, King Zebra are not a band that takes themselves that seriously. After all, their previous album was entitled ‘Greatest Hits’ (their debut!). They remind me a bit of Steel Panther with their light hearted humour.
As far as “Wild! Wild! Wild!” is concerned, every track on it is a fun, party-ready, good one. If you are looking for something truly original or ground-breaking, there is no doubt that the album will leave you disappointed.
However, if you are longing for Eighties sounding, catchy, sing-along type songs with tasty not overdone guitar licks, “Wild! Wild! Wild!” may well be the equivalent of a wet dream for you.
Given that, King Zebra‘s music borrows heavily from a past era, you can find a lot of similarities. For example, the guitar riffs on “Point Of No Return” remind me a lot of Eddie Van Halen‘s guitar playing on the 1986 released 5150.
On the other hand, “Too Many Rules” reminds me of Extreme with its funky hard rock groove.
You know a band has hit a home run when you even enjoy their sappy cheesy ballad or at least ‘slower’ song; yes, the acoustic tinged “Purple Roses” has been done thousand times before, but I like it!
It’s tough to pinpoint exactly which are my favorite tracks on King Zebra‘s “Wild! Wild! Wild!” since I enjoy each one of them. Apart from the aforementioned songs, “Never Stop Trying” with its great melodic line, and the anthemic, stadium-ready “Welcome To Longstreet” (soaring guitar solo) are among the highlights.
If you like your glam / hard rock strongly infused by ’80s hooks (including cliché), check out King Zebra’s new album now; regarding this genre, it’s all good.
Two thumbs up.
01 – The Roar! (intro) / Wild Animals
02 – Never Stop Trying
03 – Penny Hollywood
04 – Welcome To Longstreet
05 – One By One
06 – Point Of No Return
07 – Whiskey
08 – Purple Roses
09 – Too Many Rules
10 – Good Time
Chip Leather – vocals
Tom Hoochy Coo – guitar
Michael – bass
Maxx Lexx – drums