ZEX - Fight for Yourself
Magic Bullet Records
Melodic Punk Rock
10 songs (29'03")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Alex

In my music listening preference formative years, while in high school, I remember there were pretty distinct three groups of people. One - I would call them intellectuals - gravitated to Queen, Pink Floyd and other things progressive melodic hard rock. They considered my group - dudes listening to Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden - too vulgar and rough. And then there were undiscerning boys and girls who tagged along for the mere fun of it. No matter who held the party, no matter what was playing they were enjoying themselves, often consuming beverages considered inappropriate for their age group (well I was guilty of joining them in that department). While "intellectuals" discussed the fine art of guitar playing, and my friends searched high and low for the loudest speakers and leather jackets, the dumb'n'fun crew wanted to paint their hair in weird colors, grow mohawks (not being allowed to actually do so in the communist Soviet Union) and hung life size posters of Kiss and Suzi Quatro in their bedrooms away from the watchful eyes of parents and school personnel.

Canadian punk rockers ZEX are obviously younger than me and did not have problems hiding their music preferences growing up. So they just go out, play some unabashed street energy charged, melodic punk rock and have a ton of good time doing it. It can certainly seem that these are some 2-3 chords driven songs, and bands like ZEX are put together to impress their respective girl/boyfriends (like something what we tried to do in high school), but the dudes and dudettes in ZEX can actually play, unlike us back in a day. The melody in Fight for Yourself just jumps at you time and time again (title track, Savage City) and ZEX guitarist Jo Capitalcide comes up with impressive involved solos. (I actually also reviewed his other outfit, more NWOBHM, but just as shrill Iron Dogs). You can call the album's songs "varied", in as much as punk rock can vary. Wild Blood borrows from Accept's Midnight Highway, Screaming at the Wall has a cool biker rock verse and World of Trash has a quick interesting melodic inflection which draws focus.

At times Fight for Yourself slips into a dangerous borderline ridiculous Andrew WK territory with party pop punk of XXX and Break Free8. The album rarely takes on apocalyptic qualities of Beastmilk or Children of Technology, but the hit Wanderlust goes slightly stoned and naive melody hints futuristic.

Gretchen Steel’s shouting vocals fits songs like We’re Rebels perfectly and puts the album into the Blondie and genre tenets. A more reserved "nicer" girl image emerges with a poppy On Our Own, but with the female vocalist my earlier Suzi Quatro references are not at all unfounded.

A fun release by Magic Bullet Records whether you are a huge fan of the field or just want to check out some DIY non-conformal fares.

Killing Songs :
Fight for Yourself, Wanderlust
Alex quoted 74 / 100
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