Sound — 9
Upon first glance, one might assume that The Flaming Tsunamis are simply another immature and juvenile "joke" band who sing songs about zombies and necrophelia that would only be appealing to those with a sophomoric sense of humor and have no appeal to anyone looking for something that could be called "quality" music. However, listen to the album and you will realize that TFT are actually the definitive New England ska/cross over group, and that Zombies vs. Robots is the definitive Flaming Tsunamis release. Although only totalling 5 songs, and just under 18 minutes, this EP was the release that made people start to notice TFT, an otherwise relatively unknown band hailing from New Haven, Connecticut. Released in 2004, this album perfectly marries the ska/punk sound of TFT's previous album, Focus the Fury, with the more aggressive metal and hardcore infused sound that they would pursue on Zombies vs. Robots followup, Kill Everything.
Lyrics — 9
The vocal and lyrical performance on this album are excellent, much improved over Focus the Fury, not only in the quality of the recording but in the lyrical content itself. The singer steals the show on this EP, bellowing, screaming and shouting every word along to infectious melodies layered over the great instrumental performance. The opening track, "Dead Girlfriends Can't Break Up With You" is a tongue in cheek song about, well, exactly what the title suggests. The verse bellows "I just need someone to hold, I don't care if her skin is cold, life's more fun when she's dead, shags real well but she can't give head". Although TFT does often go with a more humorous approach to their songs, like the acoustic ballad of the title track, which tells the tale of the Zombie Robot Wars, a futuristic apocalypse about the dismantling of the world, they do take a serious approach to their writing, such as on songs like "Refuse To Die" and "Opus". The bellowing refrain of "Refuse" screams "I'm not broken, I don't need to be fixed, and your pity, your stares are making me sick, and if my life leaves a bad taste in your mouth, just spit it out, spit it out".
Overall Impression — 10
This being the second official Flaming Tsunamis release, proves to be exactly what one would expect from a sophomore album. It shows great progression from previous efforts, incorporating a more aggressive hardcore sound into their traditional ska/punk style, without delving into the full on metalcore influenced sound that is featured on their later releases. Standouts on this album are definitely "Refuse to Die", which after its minute and a half radio broadcast/smooth jazz intro, throws the listener into its chaotic, metallic chorus before delving into the ska verse. The closer, "Opus" is also extremely impressive, both lyrically and musically, and its closing section which claims "I won't fear change, with blood in my throat, I'm moving on today", a sentiment that embodies this band, whose ever changing sound is a breath of fresh air into an all too often stale scene.