Thursday, April 03, 2008
Plants And Animals--Parc Avenue (2008)
Artist-Plants And Animals
Release Date-Mar 25, 2008
Review-Arising from the same musical tree as fellow Canadian Patrick Watson, Plants and Animals are a very sophisticated, arty group that meld a wide arrange of influences. The bombastic, orchestral opener "Bye Bye Bye" could be considered a melding of the Polyphonic Spree, Devendra Banhart, and the Beatles, but the band nails the song perfectly. Walking such a fine tightrope though for an entire album could be a mistake, so fortunately the group offers up a panoramic plate of styles, especially on the groovy, prog rock feel of "Good Friend" that recalls a mellower version of the Flaming Lips. The lone snag with the track might be how string-laced and rich it becomes to close. The first true taste of classic, hippie-tinged prog rock is "Faerie Dance," a slow, plodding track that might be the yin to Black Mountain's yang. The group are quite adept at changing moods, especially on the roots-riddled "Feedback in the Field" that sounds to be heavily influenced by early Neil Young. The record has a sizeable amount of drama or gravitas as well, evidenced by "A L'oree Des Bois," which changes into a rather ethereal effort three-quarters of the way in. One of the highlights here is the nearly eight-minute waltz-rock approach behind "New Kind of Love" which screams to be covered by the Arcade Fire. Probably the biggest disappointment is the messy "Mercy" which veers from a dance-driven Afro-beat format into some haunting guitar instrumental à la Explosions in the Sky. They more than atone for it with the majestic and regal "Keep It Real."