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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Devil Wears Prada -- Zombie EP


The Devil Wears Prada are a sort of screamo-metal band. By that I mean they play heavy music with a bunch of breakdowns, have a screamer, and have a guy who sings high-pitched, computer-touched vocals. The band also has a keyboard player to add additional layers and texture to their sound. Zombie EP is a fun twenty minute blast of music focusing on a fictional zombie attack. The band bring in some great horror movie found sounds, fake news announcements, and film score quality synths to really give this EP some nice atmosphere. While there isn't a lot of singing, the hooks are pretty decent, and the lyrics are enjoyable. There's even a nice, subtle "over-consuming humans are the real zombies" line in track four, "Revive."

The band notes "ALL GLORY TO GOD (even songs of zombie chaos)" in the CD booklet, so there's a light "Christians outnumbered by the world" subtext to this EP as well. Speaking of CD booklet, the band went above and beyond. Most bands don't even include anything outside of lyrics in their booklets anymore, but The Devil Wears Prada showcase pictures of frightening landscapes, approaching zombies, and a fun, goofy group shot of themselves in zombie-killing gear.
Overall, Zombie EP is a short but good time.
If I may make some critical remarks:
It is great that the band recognizes the importance of texture and atmosphere. It is quite clear that they are passionate about making good music, and that they have the technical skill to create it. I hope in the future, The Devil Wears Prada can learn to incorporate more space and air into their music, which will make the texture and atmosphere stand out more, and give their sound a greater sense of dynamic. The Devil Wears Prada feature some great guitar and drum parts on this EP, and learning how to fill-out a song more will help them to eliminate some of the more generic breakdowns and chugging they have to do in between to keep a song running for more than three minutes (most of these on the Zombie EP top out at more than four because of the announcements and sounds between tracks). Finally, it's clear that the guitarist does not naturally sing as high as he does on this EP. There is an artificial, digitally enhanced quality about his vocals here that is a little grating, and sounds a little immature. It's clear, though, that he does have a handle on singing, and he has a great knack for melody. I think if he focused on making his vocals sound more natural and authentic, he will be a force to be reckoned with. At this point, The Devil Wears Prada have a ton of promise, and I'm excited to see where they go next.*

*my opinion here also reflects the full-length they released shortly after this, which I will review tomorrow, and which also showcases many of the same pros and cons*

 2010 Ferret
1. Escape 4:35
2. Anatomy 3:41
3. Outnumbered 4:36
4. Revive 4:53
5. Survivor 4:32

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