|Zebra IV||Frontiers Records|
It took a while to surface and suffered a few release date problems, but at last the all new fourth Zebra album is finally ready for fans to gobble up.|
Randy Jackson, together with Felix Hanemann and Guy Gelso recorded this album over the last couple of years, finally following up the band's last studio album - 1986's 3.V.
So what has changed since 1986? Not a lot – which will come as great relief to fans of the band's music.
The guys have basically chosen to take up where they left off, with more Led Zeppelin styled classic rock, on a set of songs that were written across a wide range of years.
This is classic Zebra – featuring Randy's high-pitch Robert Plant style vocals and his unmistakable Jimmy Page influenced lead guitar. Guy and Felix hold it all together with a tight rhythm section that mirrors the great Bonham/Jones combo.
Go no further than the hard rocking opening tracks Arabian Knights and Light Of My Love to see what I mean.
KK is Hiding is another good Zep like track. In-between things tend to be a bit softer with several tracks acoustic based and featuring a very stripped back production.
These songs tend to put Randy's vocals in the spotlight, so you had better be a fan of his style of delivery.
But it's not all straight forward stuff. Free experiments a little, while Waiting To Die sees Chillie Willie guest on Sax on this slow, hard 7 minute plus blues number.
The closing track Why is an album highlight – mixing several layers of acoustic and electric guitars for excellent effect.
Those that are new to the band might not be as immediately convinced, but if you like a taste of classic rock, with strong melodic overtones, should check this out.
Those that enjoyed Randy's participation in The Sign will also appreciate this album.
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