Under Review

Animal Names

Oh Yes You Better Do (Boat Dreams From the Hill)

Review By Mark PaulHus


Vancouver’s Animal Names seem to be caught in an innocent time warp, coming from a simpler place where the term “emo” has nothing to do with eyeliner or cutting oneself. The cover art of a balloon-headed, lime green canary, along with song titles such as “Crunk Crunk Croatia” and “My Friends for Mayor” indicate that the listener is in for something quirky and interesting from a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

The first line of “Rolling Paper Airplane” sets the pace as Chris Vanderlean proclaims, “I’ve got no goals and nothing good to say about you or anything / So let’s drop the talk to start this off.” What follows is a collection of songs brimming with joyful angst, containing all the ingredients of a true emo record. Awkward male vocals are complemented by pretty female harmonies. The lyrics are clever, whimsical and oddly poetic. The music is fraught with changes in emotion, from melancholy ballads to rollicking power-pop blasts. It is fully d.i.y. indie with a punk rock heart. Most of all, Oh Yes You Better Do, is just plain fun.