Zebrahead: Playmate of the Year

[21 August 2000]

By Andy Argyrakis

Zebrahead attempts to create an entertaining and appealing pop/ alternative rock follow-up to the their last album Waste of Mind. They failed in the sense that Playmate of the Year is an utterly annoying listen and it is filled with an overuse of childish sexual innuendos. The group ostensibly had to approach the record from that perspective because they are in the middle of a tasteless cross promotion with Playboy Enterprises.

The band hired several Playboy models to appear within the context of their CD booklet—a photo shoot that the all male group made sure they were present for. The models in their skimpy outfits are about the only possible sense of appeal for some on this CD, but testosterone-filled teenagers will be disappointed when they put the disc in their stereo and hear about Zebrahead’s crazy fantasies.

Songs like “I Am,” “In My Room” and “E Generation” all speak of such topics, while each track sounds like it was written within the same hour. The title cut is about as interesting as Playmate of the Year gets, but even that tune lacks substance in sound and words.

Zebrahead is not a group that wants to be taken seriously, but that leads me to wonder why they would team up with P.O.D.‘s producer Howard Benson, as well as mixer Chris Lord Alge, who’s worked with such prominent groups as Green Day and Fastball. The album has an equally impressive guest artist list, including appearances from members of Lit, No Doubt and Reel Big Fish.

The band also carries over their antics into their live performances. They have played with the likes of the Offspring, Kid Rock, and Sugar Ray, while also jumping on for some dates of the Vans Warped Tour and are currently in the midst of a club tour with label mates Wheatus.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/zebrahead-playmate/