Sound — 9
When I first heard the Finish band Animal Alpha, I was instantly reminded of Rammstein, as an overall sound comparison. Also, Grunge acts like Alice in Chains and Smashing Pumpkins; Metal bands like In Flames, Nightwish, Korn, Marilyn Manson and System of a Down; and even more bluesy material such as Neil Young and Thin Lizzy all sprung to mind. They personally site many different artists and groups as influences of their sound and it really does show; it is why Animal Alpha are so ahead of other bands, in any genre. Their interesting and branching, often nutty, musical directions seem to create intense, emotional, raucous and vivid depictions of art that will continue to thrill you, but also calm you, which is what makes up a good album, if you ask me. It is most likely the absurdity to the music that first attracted me. But also the sleaziness, cleverness and emotional grit contained within every single one of their tunes. What's more, you may find that the lesser known tracks will come alive the more and more you listen and pay attention to them: "Alarm" and "Breed Again" being perfect examples. The sound and producing is well done, although it could of been improved a little. That said, this is their first LP (a very short one at that - it is only 9 tracks long with an average of roughly four minutes between them) and you are limited as to how accurate and detailed it will turn out, due to costs and inexperience. So it may not be as accomplished as you might expect and enjoy, but it's certainly well worth looking for. (it took me quite some time to find this record) The guitars are well recorded and vary in techniques, from country twangs to drop tuned heavy riffs - complimented by peculiar rhythms and offbeat drumming. The bass doesn't always follow the guitar and is thus allowed to develop intricate sound structures, followed neatly and powerfully with tight drum work with challenging flurries of double bass and tom roles. In essence though, it's the female vocalist that really highlights the band above others and boosts Animal Alpha into such glorious territory. She really does have it. Her style and presence is clear and wacky; she is a true delight to behold, both in musical form, and in visual form.
Lyrics — 8
In strong relation to their musical diction, the lyrics also have oddities to them. It is not overly difficult to define what the writers are saying, but it's not smacking you in the face rudely, either. There is a neat sense of ambiguity and cynicism that is quite refreshing, and a triumph from a band who are relatively young. The lead singer suits the music flawlessly, and her intense showmanship, varied vocal styling's and obscure sense of dress really demonstrates the bands diction as a whole; as a picture. She has admirable skills as a singer and as a front woman - as I already mentioned - notably because of her ecstatic performances, both live, in the studio and in video form. Which harps back to their lyrics, which are all well wrote, create detailed and powerful images and lends the music a biting personality.
Overall Impression — 8
If you are a hardcore Death Metal advocate, this should be a quaint addition to your music collection. If you are into the more softer, more melodic, more dramatic side of rock then this will be most appropriate as another band to look out for and follow. Songs such as Even When I'm Wrong I'm Right showcase their heavy side very fittingly, while emotional tracks like Alarm and Master of Disguise totally contradicts (in a good way) the opening sleazy songs, Bundy and Pin You All - which both have brilliant videos; which can be watched on Youtube. Their intense song writing abilities, varying influences and styles really encourage you and give you faith, once again, in the music industry. Bands like Animal Alpha are very rare to find these days and they should be shown respect, because this is a very good album with very few flaws (the main one being it's short length) and is a great way to develop your musical tastes if you are fearful of other genres seeping into your collection.