It’s become a Postcode tradition to release a new record on guitarist Mikie Daughtery’s birthday. With this latest birthday, and the release of Year of the Zebra – Part Two, the band takes a break from the happy and upbeat to return to the much more familiar dark and noisy landscape. It came out immediately after 2013’s The ZebrATP EP. The style continues and expands, trying out more keyboards, 12-string guitars, and backwards delays.
I want to start with the cover art, because though it’s simple – it’s actually kind of brilliant. Adorable zebras comforting one another gives it the warmth, but it’s framed with grungy scratches and cold film reel blemishes. It shows what’s to come.
That city-slick style of the instruments is unmistakably Mikie Daugherty and the hypnotizing vocals are exclusively Marie Reynolds. The instrumental opening is a great reference to Mikie’s other band, Nanaki. It opens up the feel of the album, which guides us softly through songs like ‘Take Me As I Am’, but grills with more of an edge on ‘Summer’.
The variety put in the guitar riffs is inspiring as it ranges from soft strings to a much more heavy strum and shred. What I’ve always liked about this band is how their music instills a powerful image in the mind with both the lyrics and the music itself – especially with lyrics like: “On nights like this, you comfort from within”. That’s what makes ‘Echo’ my favourite track on the album. That, and that it builds in intensity and has such a robustness with the guitar.
Seven tracks is all it takes for you to fall in love. That last track continues to echo through your mind and lingers thereafter. Look out for their music videos for ‘Take Me As I Am’ and ‘This Day Will Come’.