Red Animal War
Red Animal War, during their Deep Elm days, always seemed to me to be Jawbox-lite. With Jawbox frontman J. Robbins producing Polizida, it would appear that their Jawbox worship has reached new heights! Yet, this is not the case at all, and this album is a million times better than any of their Deep Elm releases. Whatever the reason, they’re developing into one hell of a band!
“Violet” sounds like Girls vs. Boys having a threesome with Kerosene 454 and Jawbox. The palm muted guitars gallop along atop a rolling, distorted bassline, with an occasional blast of a chord. The chorus is pure For Your Own Special Sweetheart Jawbox. The lead vocalist sounds a lot like J. Robbins himself, and his voice accentuates the awkward plodding of this song perfectly.
“Lung in the Hollow” is another notable track. The guitars are definitely the stars of this song, which also sounds a lot like Girls vs. Boys. There isn’t a whole lot of note differentiation here; all of the notes are low and rumbled, giving things a feel of warmth. Mid-way through the song, a blazing guitar solo, Robert Smith-style (circa Kiss Me…), pops up with wah-wah in full effect.
“Riot” is an explosive, discordant song that falls somewhere between Shotmaker, Sonic Youth and The Cure. During the chorus, there are these really creepy “oohs” and “aahhss…” in the background, as the guitars and drums pound away ferociously. It gives the song a rather gothic or cryptic feel. The guitars get super-weird here, as well, sounding somewhat like Robert Smith covering early Fugazi.
Polizida is dark, filthy, brooding and mathematical. I am truly shocked that this is the same Red Animal War that used to be on Deep Elm. I can’t recommend this album enough!
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