03 October 2008

The BLOGTOBER 2008 Album Reviews (03 of 23) The Sound of Animals Fighting, The Ocean and the Sun

Another weekday in BLOGTOBER 2008, another 2008 album that I've been really enjoying. This time it's The Sound of Animals Fighting turn to be put under the immodest microscope . . .

The Sound of Animals Fighting, The Ocean and the Sun [Zune.net, Amazon]

1) Intro
Just a little spoken word intro to get things kicked off (not sure which language, sounded Turkic to me, but I could be very wrong).

2) The Ocean and the Sun
The clicky-clack of old school typewriters is one of the sounds in the mix. Has a nice funky drummer beat under girding an ethereal swirl of vocals and various electronic effects. Interesting song, nice mix of influences, good execution bringing the disparate elements together.

3) I, The Swan
This one is a bit more ponderous and big sounding compared to the title track (in good ways). These folks like swirly, this has a nice swirl to it, a different swirl to the previous track, but swirly nevertheless. This song goes big and guitar heavy towards the end. Nice slow build to a big finish type song.

4) Another Leather Lung
Another solid track. Hard to describe, other than to say it's got well played complicated rhythms, interesting vocals, and builds to a big wall of noise finish as it gets more and more aggressive till it finishes in full on speed metal territory. Kind of awesome in its own way.

5) Lude
Big change of pace from the previous track, given the nature of this musicians collective, changeability from track to track and album to album is the rule, not the exception. Everything is recognizably part of this collective though, so it's not like the mood swings are inconsistent or off putting. I assume Lude is short for 'interlude' as that's all this track is, a delicate little guitar figure, sort of a palate cleanser between courses.

6) Cellophane
I suppose if comparisons to other performers are the way you relate to artists, and it'll help you get a handle on what this might sound like, for this track, think Kid A period Radiohead, and you'd be in the right ballpark (but with more French Horn). Great drumming, really challenging patterns, and vocals well suited to this song. Very listenable in a neo-prog sort of way.

7) The Heraldic Beak of the Manufacturers Medallion
What? Yeah, despite the title, this song ROCKS! Another crunchier more or less straight forward metal effort. These folks do metal well.

8) Chinese New Year
Another snippet, just the sounds of Chinese New Year, clanging gongs, kids singing, nothing to see here, move along . . .

9) Uzbekistan
Turns out Uzbekistan is very electronic, and kinda noisy. Who knew? Not one of the better tracks, but won't make you jump for the 'next' button if it comes up on random play, either.

10) Blessings Be Yours Mister V
Another loud and neo-progg-y track. Goes some interesting places, though. Nothing special, nothing horrible.

11) Ahab
Another short track, feedback shaped for your listening pleasure.

12) On the Occasion of Wet Snow
A more meditative and 'groovy' track than the others. Has a nice slow propulsive forward motion to it. Ends in a wall of noise, cause, that's what you do I guess. It's a skillful wall of noise, so it's forgivable.

All and all, this is a solid album, not every track works, and tonally it kind of jumps around, but if you like your grooves complicated, you can groove to this in a complicated manner.

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