Album Review ~ Zebrahead ~ ‘Brain Invaders’

Formed in the midst of the Orange County punk explosion the Southern CA-based punk-inspired rock outfit Zebrahead is gearing up to once again bring their distinctive fun-filled sound to the masses with their new album Brain Invaders, produced by the band and Paul Miner (New Found Glory, Atreyu, Thrice, Death By Stereo) and mixed by Kyle Black (Pierce the Veil, Paramore, New Found Glory.)

Zebrahead is vocalist/rapper Ali Tabatabaee, vocalist/guitarist Matty Lewis, bassist Ben Osmundson, drummer Ed Udhus and guitarist Dan Palmer.

Although they’ve been wreaking havoc and paving the road of the punk-pop scene for more than 20 years, veterans Zebrahead still manage to keep producing albums that are fresh and full of life. Brain Invaders is the band’s thirteenth full-length release, and it draws inspiration from their previous works while still pushing forward with their sound.

Aptly named, the songs on Brain Invaders will get stuck in your head and invade your brain. Every song on the album has Zebrahead taking chances, and it sees the band essentially going for it. Kicking off the unruly energy with intense and resounding guitar riffs is When Both Sides Suck, and it’s an absolute banger. The attitude and dynamism are infectious. Continuing on the wild energy is All My Friends Are Nobodies, and it starts off with a bit of rapcore and riff dips, giving us a taste of the wild range of elements Zebrahead bring together for this album. This new offering from Zebrahead is 13 full tracks of screaming guitars and punchy lyrics. And if you’re one for pop-punk angst anthems, it’s right up your alley. Featuring hard-hitting rhythms, intense riffs, and loud, strained vocals it’s a foot-stomping powerhouse that will leave you chanting.

Whilst unashamed to throw other influences into the mix – whether that be thrash metal, hip hop, or ska – Zebrahead’s collection of inclusive and super-speed anthems are ultimately all about just enjoying life and having fun. Brain Invaders is the epitome of what has helped pop punk continue to flourish. Brain Invaders is an incredibly cohesive record with each of the tracks having powerful energy and distinct vibe that’s all tied together with crazy hooks. So, get ready, although be warned it’s not one for the faint of heart.

The band has earned a reputation for consistently bringing their party to the masses with their nonstop touring across the globe. To get an idea of what keeps them pumped… check out zebrahead’s Top 10 Bus Party Songs:

.        1)  Girl Talk – Pre-Show Party Mix – We love Girl Talk. We always listen to girl talk in the hours leading up to the show. It mixes everything from metal to hip hop covering all our favorite genres. It changes every 20-30 seconds for those of us with short attention spans….and it is excellent party music for after the show.

.        2)  Southpark’s Team America – What is not to like about this song? It has stood the test of time. Poking fun at something serious and yet, utterly ridiculous all at the same time while remaining relevant. We do not like to take things too seriously when not needed. We have found that the quicker you laugh and enjoy life the faster you will laugh and enjoy life.

.        3)  David Lee Roth – Sonrisa Salveje – Eat ‘em and smile – In Spanish… it is a great party record and helps teach us Spanish at the same time. It also gives Dan and Marty plenty of rock to practice their high kicks to before the show. This is also excellent drinking music for after the show.


.        4)  Manowar- Carry on – it’s an inspiring metal anthem that always puts us in a good mood. And it is a great sing-along int he back of a van with 12 dudes going way too fast int he middle of the night though some back-country place in (insert country here)


.        5)  Van Halen, Hot For teacher – Another great rock song… excellent guitar playing, Drumming, and bass playing. Not to mention David Lee Roth is killing it on this tune. It is a great party song that literally everyone knows, and it helps us get hyped up for the show. Special side note- Matty likes to listen to this when he has business in the W/C. He wants to rock out when he is doing his thing. When we are sitting in some airport in Ukraine waiting for our flight to board, and we can’t find Matty. We just listen for Hot For Teacher. We can then find Marty and tell him to hurry the hell up… it’s like a Marty location device…


.        6)  Thin Lizzy – Boys Are Back In Town – What can you say about Thin Lizzy? They are rock gods as far as we are concerned. Such amazing rock!! – We do not condone the following but, we have had a lot of fun with this… (remember folks, drink responsibly and do not drink and drive please) The Thin Lizzy Boys are back in town drinking game. Put this song on, grab a drink or a few, And every time you hear the word “boys” take a drink…Play that game once, and most people are good for the night. We have been known to play it for a couple of hours.


.        7)  Los Del Rio – La Macarena – great song but, that’s not why we like it. We use this song during most of our moving down the road bus parties. With 12-15 of us (more if we are sharing a bus), we play this song when the bus is driving to the show, and we are still up having a good time. We call it the “Bus Macarena” put the song on, full blast, (People sleeping love this) and try to do the Macarena dance on the moving bus without falling over. It is quite a sight to see… a bunch of old dudes rocking the Macarena at 3am somewhere between Frankfurt and Lyon falling over the place… there are no winners or losers in this game… or are there? I guess that all ends on your perspective 


.        8)  Europe, The Final Countdown… We put this song on when we have a whistle off… Matty is by far the best. His lips were made for whistling those sweet sounds deep into the night. The rest of us are just ok at it… I think we could all use the happy lips of our friend Matty………… to become better whistlers. What?!


.        9) Scorpions – Winds of Change – This is the best song to whistle out of key too…. Keeping the whistle, them going.  It is fun sometimes to piss off people, and to whistle this song out of key really does wonders.

.        10) Slayer – The Whole Catalog – If you don’t like slayer and can’t appreciate that it pumps you up like no other…. then most likely it would drive you crazy.  We happen to appreciate the whole catalog and enjoy pumping it at level 11 at all times.  Bus drivers usually don’t understand this at 5 am?  And we suck for doing it…. but come on…it’s Slayer

By I’m Music Magazine Guest Writer Jacy Ray

Order Brain Invaders HERE

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