All bands are equal…

The Dove Prism
Animal Farm
Independent, 2012
6 tracks / 32:04 minutes

When I see the band’s name, their album cover, and their cheeky slogan (“All bands are equal, but some bands are more equal than others”), I immediately think that I’m gonna get a politically inspired punk record.

But on the contrary, what we have here is some progressive rock. The songs are often acoustic based, and are clearly designed to take the listener on a journey. Animal Farm is not concerned with acquiring a pop hit. They instead want to appeal to your intellect and to your emotions with their sweeping arrangements.

Strangely for progressive rock, I also get a singer-songwriter vibe. It feels as if the band is primarily an outlet for singer Kyle Caldwell. It could be the acoustic styling, or the general focus on the vocals, but it is certainly unique. Most progressive bands are concerned with virtuosity and long instrumental passages, not with vocals or song craft. This gives Animal Farm a heads up because they never get lost in endless solos.

However, they would do well to add a bit more variety to their songs – everything is fairly mid-paced. Eventually the songs start to sound the same. Adding some tempo and dynamic changes will help them prevent this in the future. As evidenced on both “Trinity” and “Empyrea,” the band is capable of bringing some harder rock elements into their songs. More of this would help balance their sound.

For a completely independent CD, the sound quality is surprisingly good, but there is some slight vocal clipping noticeable on a couple tracks. This is probably a mixing or mastering error. It doesn’t detract much as it is still easy to get lost in the songs.

They save the best two songs for last. The instrumental intro to “Empyrea” is epic, and it has the strongest vocals of any of the songs. The title-track is an excellent ballad with great harmonies that closes the album on a sweet yet somber tone.

Animal Farm makes music best consumed at a leisurely pace, when you have time to get fully absorbed. Recommended for late night listening, while sipping some coffee and reading a great novel.

Animal Farm will be playing a CD release show Friday, March 23 at 9:00pm at This Ain’t Hollywood. Magnetic Love and Wentworth will be opening. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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One Response to All bands are equal…

  1. Jane says:

    Great writing Noah! It was an interesting read!

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