Worry A Lot marks second release by The Zebras, following their self-titled debut from 2004. The album is crafted with the jangle pop that made the twee movements of C86 and Sarah Records so lovable. From the punchy guitar to the driving percussion, each song contains the power to knock you off your feet. The Zebras hail from Australia and it is extremely difficult to find a copy of anything by the group on this continent, making it clear a US-based label needs to release the album stateside.
“Patient To The End” marks one of the few ballads off Worry A Lot yet the verse is just as strong as those found on “Worry A Lot” and “Science Competition”, two of the albums most upbeat and catchy songs. “The Nightmare” is a surprisingly romantic and upbeat ballad for the title and lyrical content:
I’m thinking back when I was five
I knew that trees had eyes
And they would follow me back home
And tell me all their lies
Throughout the album, the lyrics continue to astound—as in the repetitive chorus in “Science Competition”:
So delighted—makes me sick
And we can’t help it if we’re so thick
And I know this time
You’re gonna win first prize
Both “I Quit” and “Doong Doong” combine the male/female vocals throughout the entire song. The latter goes further, enhancing a more instrumental, guitar-heavy bridge with a rapid, driving percussion.
Some artists struggle with musicianship while excelling in songwriting. For others, the vice versa is true. However, after eight straight listens to Worry A Lot, it is clear that The Zebras have the uncanny ability to do no wrong.
This review was originally published March 26, 2007 on the old version of FensePost.
Lost And Lonesome Recordings [CD, 2006]
1. You Look Ready
2. Worry A Lot
3. I Quit
5. Patient To The End
7. Science Fiction
8. Fine Lines
9. Doong Doong
10. I Have Decided
11. Miss World/Don’t Cry
12. The Nightmare