Music Reviews



New Animal

Thrill Jockey

Surprisingly raw, heavy-on-the-Stooges, power punk rock, man.

Surprising? Well, the album cover is a photo of the three band members standing in a snow-covered field with a bunch of dogs. They’re just standing there and I thought I’d be in for a this-is-mope-rock quickie listen that’d right away evolve into an addition to my voluminous polycarbonate beer coaster collection.

It was not to be.

New Animal begins with “Die Tonight,” a pleasant little ditty introducing me to vocals that sounded like an alternative universe David Byrne – a David Byrne that never discovered art rock but instead joined the Dead Boys. “Get Me High” has this line: “I’ll be a bastard for your lover,” or something like that. Man, what a line, it’s like some amped-up biker hippy primed after beating up an entire bar in a psychedelic haze. Dude, it’s got some incredible power chords…

“Red Night,” I don’t know what it’s about, but the “bridges” sound like a bad trip gone even worse: they must’ve recorded someone flashing back to a brown acid trip where they saw the Devil. “Looking In Fire,” a good follow-up to “Red Night,” is a mellow come-down, with a lot of “music box” keyboards, but you know that half-way through the song there’s going to be a space shuttle taking off. Which doesn’t happen, but the song’s pretty trippy, still. “Live All” has the classic psychedelic punk rock sound, with all the crunching, fuzzy guitars and out-of-control vocals, I must learn more…

There are twelve songs altogether on New Animal , each one a wild, psychedelic punk gem. I can imagine these dudes headlining a tour of 21st Century opium/crystal meth dens. Whoa!

Thrill Jockey Records, Box 476794, Chicago, IL 60647

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