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JFH Staff Review


The Devil Wears Prada, Zombie EP
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The Devil Wears Prada
Zombie EP



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 5 tracks: 22 minutes, 19 seconds
Street Date: August 24, 2010


Don't bother trying to find a Christian message in The Devil Wears Prada's brand new Zombie EP. Apart from the fact that Mike Hranica's vocals are almost completely indecipherable without a list of lyrics at your nose, the concept for this album is a complete joke. The effect is intentional, don't you worry. These boys aren't stupid; they're just having a bit of fun. "The whole thing is just completely based upon zombies. Last fall, I was on a real zombie kick. I read The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, and I thought, 'What if we made a zombie song?' All it took was me just saying that to the band, and we had our hearts set on doing this EP," said Hranica in a recent Ferret press release. This is essentially all you need to know.

Though the lyrics are less than poetic, the music edges on ideal forward progression. Even with the staggering improvement of With Roots Above and Branches Below behind them, they manage to take the good and make it better. A thunder storm introduces the lunacy that awaits, but the phrase "full tilt" has grown a whole new meaning with the opening track, "Escape." The first you get to hear of the newest TDWP is also the heaviest they've ever written. Within the fiery fusillade is a noticeable upgrade to Hranica's vocals. His applied range has increased, leaping from high sweeps to abysmal lows much more profoundly than in the past. In addition, his mid to high screams have slid just in between his usual rasp and a hardcore yell, adding considerable flavor to the band's vocal-heavy format.

Moving on to "Anatomy," try to hold on to your hats, folks. This little five track EP has as much or more energy than Roots and Branches in its entirety. They go for the gold in brutality. Breakdowns abound, but by no means do they hold the music's momentum. In a wise method of improvement, they take popular influence on this album, infusing Slayer-esque guitar riffs and admittedly Hatebreed-like speed and tempo.

"Outnumbered" begins with a clever faux news report stressing that "this is not a test; this is not a joke." Ironically, the entire album is a joke. The seriousness of the music remains intact, nevertheless. By "Revival," you should have heard a few tastes of guitarist Jeremy DePoyster's well known clean vocals. They let the old flame burn as his voice soars sky-high, but there is new and notably successful experimentation taking place as well. Integrated piano riffs haunt the background of several tracks. Breakdowns sneak up from nowhere and intense buildups descend into pretty choruses. Unconventional. They keep us on our toes.

The first four tracks focus on detailed descriptions of the "disease" from multiple aspects, bringing you up to speed with their version of the already popular zombie concept. However, the final track, "Survivor" regales us with a tale of "one of the last few standing;" a specific man's story of loss and loneliness.

The Zombie EP packs a heck of a punch in a very accessible amount of time, and conjures up very good feelings about TDWP's future endeavors. Expanded and improved showmanship and musicianship are a key exploit to be sure, but it's the passion fueling a nearly satirical album that daunts me. The Zombie EP is a tempered steel doorstop holding open the way for TDWP's subsequent full-length.

- Review date: 8/22/10, written by Wayne Reimer of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

JFH Staff's Second Opinion



Are you ready for the coming zombie apocalypse? If you're not, The Devil Wears Prada's newest release, Zombie EP, will get you ready. Of course, the above statement is all fun and games, and so is the topic of TDWP's "concept" EP. The music is anything but fun and games, and comes across just as brutal as zombie slaying at times. The band has turned up the heat for this 5-track romp through zombieland. They bring more impressive and more aggressive guitars as well as some vocals you've never heard from singer, Mike Hranica. Heavier music and deeper growls equal the perfect storm, and TDWP unexpectedly nail it. Don't expect to listen and understand what is being said; you are going to want the lyric sheet to read as the story unfolds. And believe it or not, there is a story. "Escape" tells of the survivor's feelings and to avoid regret; "Anatomy" talks about the appearance of the beasts; "Outnumbered" gives no hope as the zombie hoard continues to grow; "Revive" lets you know that a "shotgun is the only cure;" while "Survivor" is about a lonely survivor of the constant zombie onslaught who is tortured by his lone existence. Zombie EP has it all; great music, great vocals (deep growls, screams, and clean vocals), some great sound effects, creepy piano pieces, other ambient sounds, and even a news story that warns of humanity's possible end. The only theme here is zombies, so don't expect to hear any spiritual lyrics of any kind. There is no poetry involved here either. Hranica tells it like it is and the lyrics come off more like a novel than a song. Even if you are not a fan of TDWP, you are not going to want to miss this. The EP is a perfect length and will easily be one of the most fun releases of the summer. If this is any indication of where TDWP will be heading on their next full-length album, the sky will be the limit. If you already have the EP or plan on picking it up soon, in the words of Mike Hranica, "Greetings from Extermination, Kansas." - Michael Weaver, 8/30/10

 

. Record Label: Ferret Records
. Album length: 5 tracks: 22 minutes, 19 seconds
. Street Date: August 24, 2010
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: iTunes (Deluxe Edition)
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Escape (4:45)
  2. Anatomy (3:46)
  3. Outnumbered (4:54)
  4. Revive (4:53)
  5. Survivor (4:32)
spacer Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics
Click For Audio Sample   Click For Song Lyrics

 

 

 

 

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