The Sound of Animals Fighting – Lover, The Lord Has Left Us…

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Release Date: 05/30/06

thesoundsofanimalsfighting
Photo: Alt Press

This review was initially written 9/3/08 and contains a considerable number of edits.

I credit the negative reviews of this album to one or two of three things: one, the reviewers are either fans of Chiodos, Circa Survive, and/or related acts; two, these people most likely don’t have an extensive musical taste; and/or three, those who stumbled on this are more familiar with the type of experimentation attributed to this band’s hero’s – namely, bands who are clearly referenced on this album that fall within the post-punk (such as the band This Heat, and The Birthday Party album Prayers on Fire, both referenced directly via song title) or new wave umbrellas. As a side note, I am not a fan of most of the related bands, the only exception being RX Bandits. This “supergroup” is still quite talented, however.

The songs vary quite a bit and there’s lots of detail and unusual things going on. Calling this “noise” in the derogatory sense is unnecessary and inaccurate. No one from this time period sounds like this, and it is refreshing. Sure, a lot of their contemporaries may find it odd sounding, but there’s still plenty of melodies that will get stuck in your head. Probably the most off-putting thing about this record is the very mid-2000’s sounding vocals from Chiodos’ Craig Owens on several songs, but at least his performances are mostly inspired from far outside the confines of what was going on in this time period.

“The Heretic”, sung by The Autumns’ Matthew Kelly, is one of the most beautiful sounding songs I’ve ever heard and is probably the ultimate highlight on this album. Lover, The Lord Has Left Us…‘s creativity is something to be admired, and for once, the term “experimental” actually means what it says. It will certainly be a shock for those who are fans of the related bands. The album is also far beyond The Sound of Animals Fighting’s 2005 debut Tiger And The Duke. This one doesn’t sound like a mixture of the popular bands surrounding these guys at all, and damn, that sure is a good thing.

Unfortunately, the band stepped back to the overall sound of their debut on their only other release, 2008’s The Ocean and the Sun and time has proven that this album wasn’t very influential by way of spreading the word of the truly great bands of the late ’70s/early ’80s they were imitating, but it was a valiant effort and may have done its part in some small way of introducing an unlikely fan base to more legitimate experimental rock.

Highlights: “Skullflower”, “My Horse Must Lose”, “St. Broadrick is in Antarctica”, “The Heretic”
Rating: 3.75/5
Purchase: Amazon
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