Postcode’s new album Zebratronics is something for the strange, as none of their songs really follow the conventions of a song. The sounds are alien, the production is questionable and the songs overall are not from this planet. It is these albums that make us stop listen and think about it, encouraging you to listen in as you feel the song has more to offer than what you are hearing on the surface.
‘Be back before dawn’ starts the craze fest with a slow electronic feel with the vocals just lingering in the background. The song suddenly then gets jolted by an overpowering noise, bringing the song to life, and saving it from dying. This is a regular occurrence in the album with loud sounds popping out unexpectedly to give you a fright, and more importantly give the song some energy.
‘Losing the battle’, ‘Pound’ and ‘Eternal’ all have elements that songwriters wouldn’t even consider putting together, as electrical sound meet dance beats and soft vocals meet a thrash of the guitar. Postcode are not scared to try anything out to see if it works, which is why we get these unhuman songs.
‘Blood ties’ is a song that could give a mother a heart attack, with the distortion up to 10 and powering through, it would probably send them into shock. The song is reminiscent of some of Sonic Youth’s famous work as the talking rather than singing over the song is done well.
The album has this knack of making you feel like you’ve been pulled into outer space involuntarily, the band manage to accomplish this by grabbing the weirdest effect and laying it on the song. ‘Epitaph’ does this as the atmospheric sounds give of connotations of some spacey underworld, and to make it even more ‘out there’ the drum beat is something that you wouldn’t associate with a song like this.
Each of the songs on the album are lengthy and abstract, making it more challenging to listen to. It would be easy to tune out and turn off at some points in the album, but by listening on, it enables you to understand the song and the ideas the band are trying to put across. ‘Dodge City’ is perhaps one of the most challenging songs to listen to as like ‘Blood Ties’ it blares out towards you, and the vocals are increasingly hard to hear. But as stated before, it must be listened to in its entirety to appreciate, as skipping through it would just deliver you with a number of horrific sounds.
Of course this album will not appeal to everybody, as some of the songs may just be too much for them, however it will have its fair amount admirers. An effect on the vocals for some of the songs would improve them, as it is often hard to determine what it being sung. Apart from this, the band reached what they were aiming for with this album.
The album sounds like a puzzle piece forced into a place where it doesn’t fit, as the songs don’t seem to match up, but simultaneously it somehow works for the album.
Stream the entire album here >>>http://postcode.bandcamp.com/album/zebratronic
Words by Alex Wise @al4563