It’s been a while since my last album review, though to be fair, there hasn’t been much in the way of full releases lately that aren’t just compilations of older songs or multiple artists. But rock band Ebola has finally released their EP “Still Alive,” aptly titled since it’s been a couple years since the band has released anything, and a 5-track half-album is better than nothing! 🙂
Ebola is one of Thailand’s pretty well-established rock bands, having been around since the late 90s, and I respect them for their dedication and the music they produce, though for me their songs have always been hit-or-miss. It seemed like with every album there was always one or two songs that I absolutely loved to death, but then the rest of the album was full of slow rock ballads with sappy sad and pessimistic lyrics that were just bland to me. But because of those handful of songs that are just too awesome for words, I’m always willing to give their new releases a listen.
Did this EP album get any publicity at all? I feel like I had no idea Ebola were even actively producing anything until this popped on the shelves. I don’t recall any music videos being released or any songs being pushed on the radio, but this is probably due to the fact that it looks like Ebola left major label GMM Grammy who has produced their last album, 5:59, and returned to the smaller label Warner Music Thailand, which they had been signed to previously, so perhaps they just didn’t have the budget to compete with Grammy dominating the air and video waves.
Anyway, the first track of the EP is their song “คนพันธุ์เรา / Kon Pun Rao (We the People)” featuring the Thai-American hip-hop group Thaitanium. Though I could live without Thaithay, this is an awesome song, energetic and rocking, just how I like my Ebola! I love the energy of the instruments, the strength of the vocals, and the optimistic message of the lyrics urging everyone to be strong and fight for their goals. I’ve replayed it several times, so I think this was a good choice to kick the EP off with~ 🙂
The second track is their song “พายุฤดูร้อน / Pahyoo Reudooraun (Summer Storm).” This is another awesome, strong track with amazing sound and another strong message about how society is slowly brewing into a summer storm of hate and violence, and how we should be aware of this and actively trying to turn things around before the hurricane destroys everything we have until there’s nothing left~
The third track is titled “ฝ่า / Fah (Brave)” and features Pongsit Kumphee, who actually wrote the lyrics. This song’s a little more laid-back than the first two, but that doesn’t mean Ebola put any less effort into it. It still has a strong energy to it, and P’Pongist made a good duet with vocals Ae. Following the theme of the previous songs as well as the album’s title, the lyrics are again inspiring and uplifting, encouraging us to brave whatever we must face in life and push on towards the future.
Fans of energetic screamo-rock, skip to track 4 of this EP! Their English titled “Face To Face” is enough to satisfy any headbanger’s need to thrash~ The lyrics are bitter and angry, my favorite, warning everyone to get outta the way and not try to hold them back, cause they’re ignoring all talks of “fate” and destiny” and are doing things their way, whether the world likes it or not!
The EP ends with their final track “เบื้องบน / Beuang Bon (Above)” ~ They decided to end it with a slower number, but it still has an awesome beat and rhythm, and coupled with optimistic lyrics of the feelings and bond that form when you find a kindred spirit that’s suffering like you and you know that you’re not alone after all, it’s definitely a strong conclusion to their EP.
Wow! I think this is the first time I have never been bored or disliked a single song on an Ebola release! Even though there’s only 5 tracks on this album, they’re 5 amazingly awesome numbers that really showcase the band’s enduring talents and desire to convey a message to society. If you’re a fan of Ebola or Thai rock in general, definitely don’t miss this EP! I think I give it a solid 9/10 (Thaitanium kind of ruined it for me, and I would have loved to hear it a full album instead of just half). But that’s just me looking for something to complain about~ 😛 Check it out!
I encourage you to support the artists and purchase the album legally; It is available world-wide on iTunes, or if you’d prefer a hardcopy CD but are not living in Thailand, eThaiCD.com is a reputable online dealer who offers it world-wide shipping – http://www.ethaicd.com/show.php?pid=74065&asso=10413 . The CD even comes packaged with a wristband, or the box set comes with a T-Shirt~ Cool!