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Zebra: IV

With a Led Zeppelin craze sweeping America once again, the fourth album from New Orleans' Zebra the trio's first since 1986! couldn't arrive at a better time. Singer, guitarist and keyboard player Randy Jackson has lost some of his soaring falsetto that helped lump Zebra into a slew of Zeppelin sound-alike bands in the Eighties remember "Who's Behind the Door" and "Tell Me What You Want"? but the music still has a cool classic-rock vibe to it. That's not surprising, considering that most of the 11 tracks on IV were written back in the Eighties, with the heavy boogie-woogie rocker "Free" dating all the way back to 1975.

IV is just about split down the middle between good-time rockers with a dash of Seventies spirit and introspective, more melodic acoustic pieces. Depending on your preference, either the upbeat "Arabian Nights" and "Light of My Love" or the laid-back "Who Am I" and "A World That Is Learning" might be your picks for top tracks. Then there's "Waiting to Die," an eight-minute epic that simmers with a dramatic saxophone performance and comes the closest Zebra has to progressive rock since its self-titled 1983 debut. There's even a hint of the blues in the song, which also features harmonic elements that hearken to Jackson's other band, The Sign (with ex-Strangeways singer Terry Brock, Kansas bassist Billy Greer, Blue Oyster Cult drummer Bobby Rondinelli, and Drive, She Said's keyboard player Mark Mangold).

That said, at times Jackson still sounds like a lower-register Robert Plant, which makes IV boasting the band's original lineup still sound like classic Zebra.

Added: July 13th 2003
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 4956
Language: english

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Zebra: IV
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-12-08 19:33:20
My Score:

The Zebra CD IV was a long time in the making and the last time they recorded new music together was about 10 years ago. I was happy to see this released because I had been a long time supporter of the music and years ago this was one of my favorite area bands. With Zebra originally being from not so far Long Island the band used to play L'Amour all the time when it was the place to be. The group was originally a Led Zeppelin focused band until they got signed and released their self-titled album on Atlantic Records. The debut is something worth finding if you have some retailers that cater to more than just the Pop trappings of the day. The new CD is the bands fourth and it is a continuation from where they left off with several standout tracks such as "Arabian Nights" which has a very Zeppelin feel and that sort of groove that they were most known for. The three-member group of Randy Jackson (guitar/vocals), Felix Hanneman (bass/keyboards) and Guy Gelso (drums) are some of the most talented individuals around and this is proved to this day by the dedicated fans that still support them. Other tracks that have a large impact on the release are "Angels Calling", "Who Am I" and "So I Dance" each a solid song musically and lyrically. This was always a good band and it is a shame that they never established a larger amount of support beyond the cult status. Looking back, at least these supporters are the true fans and in the end that is all that counts.

It's a good record and I say look into but recommend that the new fan first take a piece of advice and purchase the self-titled Zebra as well as Zebra Live. These albums are excellent and along with the comprehensive "Best Of" you can get a broader scope of where the band has been and what their career has offered you. Fans of solid Rock that makes sense amidst all of the stuff that is force-fed to us on radio stations will truly appreciate this band. They still rock and it's never too late to come on board.

Track Listing

1)Arabian Nights
2) Light Of My Love
3) Who Am I
4) Angels Calling
5) K.K. Is Hiding
6) Free
7) So I Dance
8) Waiting To Die
9) World That Is Learning
10) My Life Has Changed
11) Why

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