Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The thing I've always loved about Plants & Animals is how they constantly push the limits of both fanatical and critical assumption. The band not only acknowledges, but willingly accepts the challenge of forcing people look past their varied mix of influences and think about their records as single entities that can only be digested after multiple listens. On Parc Avenue they not only got people to disregard their jam-heavy tendencies and quirky folk explorations, they had people regaling the sonic collages they built. Basically, the Montreal trio earned carte blanche to deliver another flavorful bouillabaisse of jazz, rock, and folk.
Instead, Warren, Matthew and Nicholas explode out of the gate with one of the heaviest, most muscular riffs they've ever recorded to tape. Tom Cruz still showcases the band's love of beauty in fleeting moments (the breakdown and harmonies that put the brakes on nicely at 2:51), but the core of the almost five minute adventure are the chugging bass lines, the stabs of guitar, drums and invigorating vocals. As far as excitement levels and expectations, Tom Cruz certainly puts critics and fans on notice. It's pretty obvious that La La Land - out April 20th on Secret City Records - isn't going to just be a subtle evolution of the same sounds we all loved two years ago.