A crossover thrash band generally fuses together influences from both hardcore punk and thrash metal. In the case of New York/New Jersey-based [crossover] thrashers Zamboni, that is more or less true. Zamboni’s sound more accurately reflects the sensation created by a mixture of objects combined in a blender, rather than two heavy metal sub-genres being sonically fused together.
Judging by the three songs presented in this roughly mixed debut EP, Zamboni’s main influences are extremely prominent in their music. Of the handful of influences the band publicly lists on their Facebook page, the most noticeable musicians include the Ramones, Metallica, S.O.D., Exodus, and Megadeth.
With riffs reminiscent of early Metallica and Megadeth, the attitude and humor of S.O.D., and the aggression and angst of early Exodus, Zamboni offer something fresh to both the hardcore and thrash metal communities alike. As for the vocals, bassist/vocalist Chris Butera sounds like the product of Bob Dylan being trapped in a cave with Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna’s voice being the only source of nourishment available. That should be received as a compliment as it works exquisitely with the accompanied music.
The first track on SUCKS! The Stupid EP is a two-minute fake radio skit with the caller bad-mouthing Zamboni. Parts of this spoof were actually pretty entertaining and funny.
The second track and first real song of the EP is titled “World War Z.” It sounds like something Megadeth would play with the melodic vocals over thrashing guitars and drums. In fact, “World War Z” sounds like an ode to Megadeth’s “Mechanix,” not to be confused with Metallica’s “The Four Horsemen.”
“Slaughterhouse” is much faster and heavier than “World War Z” and is truer to Zamboni’s self-declared label of a “crossover thrash band.” This is arguably the primary focus track on this three song EP.
Closing out the EP is a cover of established hardcore/metal band D.R.I.’s “The Five Year Plan.” Zamboni’s version is not far off from the original song and acts as homage to one of the band’s main influences. Of course, Zamboni were able to put their stamp on “The Five Year Plan” with Butera’s distinguishable vocals along with the use of audio from the movie Big Daddy as both the intro and outro of their version.
Those interested can find a free MP3 download of Zamboni’s debut release, SUCKS! The Stupid EP, here: http://zamboni.bandcamp.com/album/sucks-the-stupid-ep
For further information regarding the band, check them out on Facebook and Twitter: