In all honesty, I have heard their music once before, but only one song that was forced on me by a friend. I really wasn’t all that impressed at first. Going back to their demo material once more, the reasons why came flooding back. Unfortunately, the production quality of the material just is not that great, and it really does hurt the overall impact in a legitimate way. The music sounds very muffled, which removes the bite, as well as gives it a very amateurish presence, enhanced by the female vocals that are pushed to the forefront and can even drown out some of the music.
But, the production issues aside, the material itself also isn’t that great, and often sounds rather typical for a Metalcore approach. It’s easy to really get into the female vocals when they are handled as screaming, but the clean singing sounds weak, and at times even bored. Meanwhile, the music that accompanies both styles often comes off rather generic, and any unique elements are just not captured well enough thanks to the aforementioned quality of the recordings themselves. “For the Record” was one of the more engaging songs thanks to the catcheir guitar riffs, but the breakdowns definitely proved to be far more enjoyable. The clean singing suffered the same issues already mentioned, as well as felt out of place on the song considering it was one of the heaviest offerings on their player. “Skeletons” had a nice atmospheric approach in the chords that worked with the singing, but the raw recording found them fading in and out in volume, as well as pushing the many areas where they are just off-key. It was as if the group had switched to a mainstream In This Moment group for radio airplay, and it left me really confused, as well as further detached from the music.
That very same confusion wound up finding me right at the start of the playlist as well. “Eaten by Scarabs” jumped around a lot musically to the point where I had no idea what the band was going for sometimes, and the clean singing that hit around the forty-five seconds mark just did not fit the beat of the song at all, coming out largely forced. The chaotic Brutal Death Metal-esque passage before the breakdown was impressive, but what potential it has is interrupted by a random ting of what sounds like a spoon against a glass of water. At this point, the song just continues to build off the breakdown, losing more consistancy until it finally limps across the finish line. “Rue the Day” has plenty of potential, but the audio on this song just sounds weaker than the rest, and during the chorus it seems like the music even drops out in certain channels. The clean singing works for the largely melodic approach, but the lyrics sound really compressed to fit with the pacing. This sounds a lot tighter despite the heavy focus on breakdowns at the start and later on, and it does show the potential the group has better than any other demo track available.
If you base Save the Zombies strictly on the demo material found on their Facebook player at the time of this post, then chances are you’ll dismiss them rather quickly. But, that’s the problem. These are just raw demo recordings, making it almost impossible to judge what talent or potential the group has, if any. Chances are good they are a hell of a lot better live on stage than these recordings make them out to be, but since I’ve never seen them live, I can’t confirm or deny this. Maybe with a little more maturing, and definitely going to a better studio than the one they went to for this album, that is it this was in a studio and not just on a mono casette deck of some sort, the band might be something worth taking note of.