KING ZEBRA – Survivors (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive*
Founded by Eric St. Michaels (ex- China), Swiss hard rockers KING ZEBRA have been around for almost a decade, releasing some singles, EP’s and touring extensively, and now are ready to release their debut album with Golden Robot / Crusader Records titled ”Survivors”. The band rides the line between modern and traditional old school ’80s hard rock / glam metal with tunes that certainly make them stand out from other rock acts that come from Switzerland.
The album opens with the cleverly titled ‘Under Destruction’, a high octane rocker that’s one of those “dangerous while driving” songs that can make you hit the gas just a little too hard if you’re not careful. The CD then sails into first single ‘She Don’t Like My R’N’R’, with it’s bluesy swagger that’s a different beast altogether from the first track.
From these two songs you can ascertain this is a band that is capable of touching on various genres of hard rock and delivering quite impressive results.
The album builds its strength from there. Third track, ‘Desperate’ is a highlight with its old school glam / sleazy rock feel. ‘We’re The Survivors’ and ‘Hot Cop Lady’ are catchy, melodic, high energy, and a lot of fun to listen to.
‘We Are One’ has elements that remind me of Dokken’s ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’. Being a huge Dokken fan, that’s a tremendous complement. St. Michaels is assisted on ‘Wall of Confusion’ by vocalist Guernica Mancini of Thundermother. With her powerhouse vocals she takes a good song and fires it into the stratosphere.
There are so many great tracks but I have to spend some time discussing my favorite, ‘Rush’. Sometimes simplicity can make a huge difference when it comes to a tune that delivers. The band takes the “verse, bridge, chorus” paradigm and throws it out the window.
The song is a basic 2/4 beat from drummer Ben Grimm with a solid rhythm from bassist Manu Judge. They make the unique decision to replace Verse 2 with an extended solo from guitarist Roman Lauer. Nothing flashing to his playing, but just a lot of feeling and emotion as opposed to fast frets. Towards the end of the song, the track kicks into double time before falling back into the chorus. A complete surprise, but I love it when songs take a direction I did not anticipate.
On every record usually we find one or two songs not as strong as the rest, but every song on ”Survivors” ranges from good to great.
KING ZEBRA is a band that will certainly make some noise in the hard rock landscape and needs to be heard by both fans of newer and older sounding hard rocking roll.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – Under Destruction
02 – She Don’t Like My R’n’R
03 – Desperate
04 – Wall of Confusion (feat Guernica Mancini)
05 – On the Run
06 – Rush
07 – Hot Cop Lady
08 – We’re the Survivors
09 – We Are One
10 – Be the Hunter
Eric St. Michaels – lead and backing vocals
Roman Lauer – guitar
Jerry Napitupulu – guitar, keys
Manu Judge – bass, backing vocals
Ben Grimm – drums