Quote: "We sailed away
We walked 2 thousand miles
And then we slipped away
We looked so hard
But couldn't seem to find just what
The world was for
Now we know
Just what the journey's for"
"Looking out to the stars
Think about what you are
What do they think of you
Animals in their zoo
They haven't got the time
Landing's not on their minds
How do they have the nerve
We're animals in preserve"
"They watch us all
They're only making sure that we
Don't trip and fall
Now they look so hard
But they can't tell us why they're
Here and just what for
Because they don't know
Who opened up the door"
"How can we find out more
Who owns the keyless door
Where does the circle end
Who are the unwatched men
Where do we go from here
Faith is a fading fear
Life is a waiting room
I hope they don't call me soon"
"How much more do you really
Think you know than a flower
Does about who's behind the door"
Quote: The Long Island via New Orleans, trio Zebra broke from the gate with their eponymous first release, a record that was, at the time, one of Atlantic Records' fastest-selling debuts ever.
Tapping into the vacuum left by Led Zeppelin's breakup, lead singer Randy Jackson and company gave the masses a good, healthy dose of Zeppelin-like hard rock. True, they are a pale imitation of their icons, but they pack enough requisite crunch into the album's nine tracks to make Zebra an enjoyable listen.
The use of synthesizer dates the album, but they did manage to score a pair of radio hits with the driving "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind the Door?" which builds to a respectably thunderous climax. Jackson manages to do a decent approximation of Robert Plant's primal howl, although some of the lyrics ("The la la Song," "Take Your Fingers From My Hair") are embarrassingly self-conscious in their attempt to strive for the proper mix of mysticism and depth.
Quote: A likely story: Band releases an outstanding debut honed over years of sweat and blood but then the second album gets lost in the undertow. Through time, No Tellin' Lies suffers even more being sandwiched between not only the brilliant Zebra but also the dazzling manifesto 3.V.
Yet Lies remains a quality slab, with awesome airwavers in the ripping "Wait Until the Summer's Gone (try deciphering those lyrics)" and the unique "Bears" (don't forget the accompanying vids). While "I Don't Like It" and "Takin' a Stance" don't carry the heft of anything off the first disc, each rings true and rocks mightily none-the-less. "But No More" simply stands as one of the trio's best songs. A middling piece from an act as talented as Zebra is still worth the time.
Quote: Taking a cue from the almighty Zeppelin on the numerical album title, Zebra bestows a most un-Leded offering. 3.V is mastermind Randy Jackson's last-ditch effort to conquer civilization through his New Orleans power trio.
A wise and distinct musical mural depicting the delectable joy of living beyond drugs and despair. The insular production (along with Hanemann's keys) may be off-putting, but once inside 3.V, "He's Making You the Fool," "Your Mind's Open," "Better Not Call," and "Hard Living Without You" rank as some of the best songs ever written in any regard.
Following Geddy Lee's lead, Jackson tones down his banshee wail and delicately weaves these masterworks around his powerful pipes, resulting in a (shudder) heavy metal Bee Gees (much cooler than that sounds). Jackson scats, scolds and soars, always keeping things tight. Like the deceptively simple title indicates, 3.V has that certain something extra: more than an album, 3.V opens the mind of an unheralded genius.
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