This has to be my most highly anticipated album of 2012 and my word it doesn’t disappoint. In its incredible and consummate coordination of avant-rock elements, Animalism is one of those triumphant debut albums that, whilst looking back, regenerates and advances.
With a serrating riff, and timely rises and falls, ‘Dying for Pigs’ is a blast of an opener. ‘King Rat’ (a nod to Mieville perhaps? We certainly hope so) begins with deep space drifting and unfolds onto a hand-clapped driving funk before the melody adds and recoils back to that sense of space still fresh in the memory. Live favourite, and Plank!’s almost signature tune, ‘La Luna’ has had a slight makeover with synths that trance and a fuller sound. Yet that bass line is still there and the melody is one that shapes a sense of joy every time you encounter it. ‘Pig Sick’ is all arpeggios and shifting rhythms, whilst introducing another moniker Plank! trick of looped guitar lines.
‘Alpha Dog’ brings the tempo down and shifts the mood. It’s likely to be the track that most pay least attention to, but it shouldn’t be so for downbeat and subtle beauty can be found therein. ‘Self Harm’ forcefully underlines the (by now overriding) message that there is splendour in complexity. ‘Iguana Farm’ seems to be swirling flute (oh, we hope so) and acts as the perfect preface to the final track and becoming epic ‘Moolicks’ which somehow bizarrely echoes ‘Pretty Vacant’, ‘Immigrant Song’ and ‘War Pigs’ before winding its way out into a hazy, disorientating and psyched ending of guitars, harmonics and saxophone (an instrument I have never been able to get on with, but here it works and anyway I’m beyond caring by this point).
I’m tempted to use the following analogy to sum up this album: Animalism is the sound of Dave Brock and Michael Rother arguing over some logarithms, whilst Geezer Butler and Rick Wakeman tackle some algebraic geometry. I don’t want to, but I just did (bugger). What I will say is that any band taking on something even remotely nu-Kraut will be looking to Animalism for the template for many years to come. Outstanding stuff.
It’s out on the 18th of July. Pre-order it from the The Akoustik Anarkhy Shop soon. Big thanks to Ed Troup for the promo.
La Luna [Boxed In Remix}
Album trailer…WITH FIGHTING FERRETS!!