venerdì 10 aprile 2009

These Animal Men "(Come On, Join) The High Society"

I simpatici These Animal Men si formano a Brighton nei primi anni 90 e già la buttano sul chitarroso andante, sbarazzini e spavaldi sono più che altro i testi che colpiscono, tra situazioni giovanili al limite, droga e voglia di dimostrare l'età che si ha sulla carta d'identità.
Questo è il loro primo album, che li fece inserire nel "mitico" filone New Wave of New Wave (certo che sti giornali britannici ne trovano sempre una nuova) assieme ai loro amici SMASH e ad altri gruppi più o meno validi. Sarà stato per quel look made in Adidas e le magliette super strette...mah, non so.
Al solito quando tu cerchi di staccarti da un filone che ti hanno appiccicato addosso fai più male che bene e così, se l'NME non ti guarda più è la fine e i TAM si perdono per strada, pur regalandoci un discreto Ep e un secondo disco secondo me dignitoso.
Dicevamo album d'esordio che viene dopo alcuni singoli che avevno ben spianato la strada. Il disco è ricco di melodie pop, basati su piacevolissimi riff chitarristici, sentiti mille volte, ma tutto sommato sempre validi. A me piaceva assai. Riporto qui sotto una specie di storia/recensione di un devoto del gruppo. Molto carina. (1994 Virgin)

Not to over dramatize, but it's pretty rare that a music video really makes a lasting impact on your life. Watching 120 Minutes about midnight some Sunday night in June, 1994, my friend Nick and I first saw the video for These Animal Men's second 7" single, You're Not My Babylon. Considering the last 12 months had seen us absorb Nirvana's In Utero, Sonic Youth's Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, Oasis' Definitely Maybe, not to mention our first live performance from Radiohead—to make an impact on these two upstarts was an impressive achievement. MTV were playing the video to mark the release of the bands first mini-album, Too Sussed?, the following day. Nick and I were at Our Price records the minute they opened the next day. Okay, there, you're up to speeed. I'll get this started.

I think everyone has a band in their favorites list whom they've loved like no other, to the utter confusion of others around you. These Animal Men are mine. To say it was a "you had to be there" time for my 14 year old self and a couple of my friends is as close as I can get to explaining it, and that doesn't really say much.

Released in September, 1994, (Come on, Join) The High Society marked the full-length debut of a Brighton, UK, four-piece who unfortunately got lumped into a manufactured NME "movement" called the "New Wave of New Wave," alongside S*M*A*S*H, Elastica, and for a short time, Oasis. This was a band so small, in that pre-broadband era, for whom being in the NME or Select was a rare treat. And for us, a live performance in the north of England was even rarer.

Looking back I think we were extra excited because we didn't know a soul who'd heard of this band, and wanted to have them to ourselves, rather than share them with the masses the way Oasis had exploded on a tired British music scene. I also loved that we both "got them" with the same enthusiasm, and I trust Nick's music taste implicitly (he introduced us to The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworldin 1991, the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream in 1993, and his prized cassette copy of Sonic Youth's 1991 Dirty Boots EP).

Speaking of "soul" though, that word really became the backbone of my love for this band, and their subsequent work. These Animal Men, like Nirvana and Sonic Youth before them, made me need to hear their influences. Without this band, God only knows when I would have discovered The Buzzcocks, Secret Affair, Gang of Four, and the Small Faces. For that, especially the latter, I will always be grateful.

As for the album itself, it's timeless for me. To this day I can't get anyone else interested in it, and I've given up trying to be a one-man street team. It encapsulates a sound of a new Adidas-clad Mod movement in the UK, clubnights at Leeds' Brighton Beach and London's Wag Club over the next couple of years, and far truer than the Britpop mess of mediocrity swelling in Camden pubs. It's still the record which makes me happy I was into interesting music at the age of 14. As clichéd as I know this sounds, but seeing Radiohead perform "The Bends" to a half-empty York Barbican Center in December, 1993, really made me look at everything differently. A total immerision in quantities of music became one of quality instead. And it only makes you prouder when a band you want to call your own are thrust back at you to shouts of "and keep 'em." While my favorite work of their surfaced a few months later ("Wait For It") on their mini-album follow-up Taxi for These Animal Men, this album will always remain the highest of points for me. (Hamish on

- Sharp Kid
- Empire Building
- Ambulance
- This Year's Model
- You're Always Right
- Flawed Is Beautiful
- This Is The Sound Of Youth
- Sitting Tenant
- Too Sussed
- Come On Join The High Society
- We Are Living
- High Society


3 commenti:

  1. so che non c'entrano un tubo con gli Shed7 ma un po' me li ricordavano: così giovani, così ben vestiti... poi i TAM sono stati sicuramente più esplosivi degli altri, i pezzi sono molto veloci e la grinta non manca... alla fine del percorso preferisco di gran lunga gli Shed7... uno potrebbe dire: e chi se ne frega?
    infatti è così, si vede che avrei voglia di un bel cd raccolta di questi ultimi pubblicato su questo blog!

  2. I loved the song Too sussed? right away. I thought it sounded youthful, vibrant and new and re-instilled my love for rock (indie) music at the time when I was mostly into House, Techno, Rare groove, Soul & Funk. But with bands like MBV, GBV, Sebadoh and Supergrass indie was king, a lot of great music was recorded in 93-94. Props for this blog Ricky.