Thought & consequence
Animal Bodies’ debut of their self-titled album is shrouded in mystery. Aside from the fact that they are from Vancouver and their release is courtesy of the record label operated out of the Zoo Zhop, there is no mention anywhere about how many members are in the band, whose voice is twisting about, or the significance of the ramblings. The mystique is part of the experience as the listener is greeted with electronic chaos and a sense of blind fury introducing the band’s ghostly, New Wave, post-punk sound.
There are three common threads gluing the album together: the synths are programmed in such a black sea of fuzz that even the darkness might jump; each song introduces a two or three chord pattern that stays consistent throughout the track but builds with turbulent electronic blips; and there is never an attempt at chorus. After all, this is not a pop affair.
“Thoughts and Consequences” sets the tone with a fast and furious blur of analog beats, rapid guitar abuse, an almost middle eastern vibe provided by a roaming and slightly off-kilter synth sound, and heavily reverbed vocals echoing in the background—call it sonic bedlam with a beat.
“Jungle Cathedral” slows things a bit with a smoother pulse. The mood is provided by a somewhat catchy guitar riff that’s played like a bass over top a softer electro-beat and cerebral synths in the backdrop. Whoever is singing tends to use her voice almost like a guitar—constantly bending the pitch from low to high in order to hit the intended note. This characteristic becomes entrenched in the first four songs and forms the basis of the sound. The brief interlude from the fury and darkness quickly returns with “Sequence 99” and “Tomb Table Testimony.” Both are very similar in composition to the first track, complete with the bended howls, sinister synths and racing beats.
The album ends with two tracks of complete dark ambient textures layered, intertwined and void of any rhythm elements—it is a fitting end to an intense listening experience.