The Devil Wears Prada: Zombie EP

The Devil Wears Prada: Zombie EP
Zombies first introduction into American popular culture started back in the 1920s with the book, The Magic Island by W.B. Seabrook. Over the decades zombies’ legend grew with movies like Bela Lugosi’s White Zombie and George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead as well as books like Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend and EC Comics’ Tales from the Crypt. But modern day has seen a boom in zombies in popular culture. From the phenomenon of 28 Days Later, the Dawn of the Dead remake, and Zombieland as well as video games like Dead Rising, Stubbs the Zombie (which had a completely awesome soundtrack) and the ever-addicting Plants vs Zombies. Even Zombie themed music has become more and more popular. The Flaming Tsunamis had their zombie-themed EP, Zombies Vs. Robots and now Ohio metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada records their own Zombie EP.
While I think writing a bunch of songs about zombies sounds like a cool idea, it is hard to accomplish as a metalcore band because no one can understand a damn word you sing/scream. During my first listen through of the five track EP, I understood maybe two words. Luckily, the Smartie McSmartingtons in The Devil Wears Prada included the lyrics in the album’s liner notes which I found for my second listen through.
But understanding the lyrics just seemed to bring out the ridiculousness of the project. While there is something cheeky about making an entire EP about zombies, there is something sincere about the tracks. But I felt a little bit of a let down when the seemingly heartfelt screams and guttural roars of the album are revealed to translate to “I live off of old canned goods”. That is actually a direct lyrical quote from the album’s closing track “Survivor”. The track is about survivors of a zombie apocalypse on a farm in Kansas and while I understand that living off of canned goods is probably part of surviving, I just don’t think it needs to be inserted into the song.
But those type of blunt (yet unnecessary) details are what make the lyrics to Zombie EP so impressive. Vocalist Mike Hranica writes lyrics that paint a picture more like a novelist than a poet. My favorite track is “Revive”. Lyrics like “We can not restore, we cannot recover: all is lost in the flood of the risen dead” definitely have vivid imagery and literary value. Musically, the track is pretty traditional metalcore filled with break beats and a combination of roars, yells, and singing. Perhaps the most unique element is an injection of electronica elements to give the track a little flare.
I think my biggest problem with Zombie EP is the music. I am not a huge metalcore guy and The Devil Wears Prada proves why. Most of the songs sound the same to me: heavy guitars and drums, a lot of yelling, and a breakdown. The formula has proven successful for many bands before them so there is no need to reinvent the wheel, but it just does not move me. With that said, the lyrical content saves Zombie EP for me. The story telling elements and comic book-like vivacity make the lyrics an interesting read if not the album a decent listen.
Rating: 6.3/10
MP3: The Devil Wears Prada “Revive”
Buy: iTunes

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