Escape From The Zoo

Countin' Cards

Written by: PP on 23/03/2022 01:02:04

Escape From The Zoo is a crusty ska-punk band from Houston, Texas, featuring one Jesse Sendejas whose name you might recognize from his main band Days N Daze. For their sophomore album "Countin' Cards", they've been signed to legendary punk label Fat Wreck Chords, which should introduce their anarcho street punk take on ska to a much wider audience than in the past.

If that description rings familiar in your ears, it's because Leftöver Cräck fits that very definition. Escape From The Zoo is slightly less caustic and chaotic than them, but songs like "Heads Up 7 Up" are undoubtedly influenced by Stza's work both in that band and in Star Fucking Hipsters, especially given how throaty the vocals are in this case.

Outside of the constant street punk vibe in the background, songs like "Sentient Beer" are straight-up ska-punk party anthems. Big sing-alongs and playful mandolins, upstroke guitars, and infectious melodies combine for a surprisingly fresh and innovative sound not usually seen on Fat Wreck releases. Their crusty take on ska is something special, culminating in the ridiculously catchy "12 Rounds" where the mandolin melody and Veronica Sendejas' softer female vocals function as a perfect contrast to Jesse's darker and scratchier style.

The female/male dynamic continues throughout the album, guaranteeing a buzzing sound that feels both vibrant and fun as if the band is having a party while recording songs like "Jars O' Fears" or "Wasted Years".

It's a shame the production is so low-key, because the sheer amount of vocalists alone, not to mention the multitude of instruments used on the record, could do with a much more spacious and expansive soundscape. But that's a small criticism on what is otherwise an incredibly fun ska/crust punk album - it has cult classic written all over it.

Download: 12 Rounds, Heads Up 7 Up, Sentient Beer, Jars O' Fears
For the fans of: Leftöver Cräck, The Casualties, Streetlight Manifesto, Star Fucking Hipsters, Days N Daze
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.02.2022
Fat Wreck Chords

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