giovedì 7 gennaio 2010

The Animalhouse "Ready To Receive"



Bah...grandi attese, ma poi tutto (o quasi) viene vanificato. Il fatto che ci siano Mark e Loz dei Ride era decisamente un biglietto da visita invitante, ma i rimandi al vecchio gruppo sono paraticamente inesistenti, cosa che comuqnue era stata anticipata da loro stessi. Tra Brit Pop, guitar rock, psichedelia, un pò di elettronica che non gusta mai il gruppo veleggia piatto e senza particolari sussulti. Discretamente accolti agli esordi poi la stampa e il pubblico perse interesse verso di loro. Non un gran peccato a dire il vero. (2000 BMG Records)

Ps...l'ignorante qui sotto afferma che Loz è l'ex produttore dei Supergrass, mah...

Da Oxford, un nuovo gruppo formato da cinque elementi, tra cui l'ex Mystics ed ex produttore dei Supergrass Loz Colbert (alla batteria) e Mark Gardener, vecchio chitarrista dei disciolti Ride. Gli altri tre elementi sono Jason King alle tastiere, Hari Teah al basso e Sam Williams all'altra chitarra (oltre a hammond e piano). Quest'ultimo mette la firma su tutti i brani dell'album, alternativamente insieme a diversi componenti della band.
"Ready To Receive" parte con il pezzo omonimo, dal bell'inizio in crescendo, un po’ Kula Shaker elettronici, un po’ dance scarna e scintillante. "Small" lascia straniati, per via del suo intermezzo bossanova che sfuma in un giro di basso New Wave primi anni '80. Dopo la psichedelica e déjà vu "Space Trash", ecco "Animal House", un'autodedica tribale e potente, con ottimi suoni. "Wasted" recita un po’ la parodia della vecchia "Skin and Bone" dei mai troppo citati Kinks, mentre "Animal", a dispetto di una partenza aggressiva e tosta, scade anch'essa in uno stile serioso e sinceramente palloso tipico di alcune produzioni New Wave. La seconda metà dell'album è aperta da "Speakeasy", una bella ballata con classici cori botta/risposta, seguita da "Essence", la quale suona come forse potrebbero suonare gli Shamen se fossero rimasti ancorati ai suoni del loro disco d'esordio, "Drop". La bassista Hari Teah canta "Sodium Glow", traccia in stile Massive Attack. "Sunday Driver" apre la mirabolante serie finale, un trio di canzoni che fanno salire di molto la qualità dell'album e che gettano un ponte verso una seconda prova che potrebbe essere quella della maturità. "Sunday Driver" è leggermente jazzata, con cori alla Beach Boys, strana ed affascinante se comparata allo stile sentito nelle precedenti tracce. Continua questo miracolo in extremis la malinconica ballata "Always Be" e la sfuggente "Mantra", inquietante nell'assolo di uno spiritato harpsichord. "Ready to receive" si chiude con queste tre grandi canzoni, che sono altrettante grandi promesse. (Max Cavassa - http://www.kalporz.com/)

So there can be no second acts in public life eh? Well F Scott Fitzgerald never was in a second-rate, wall-of-effects fuzz-band from the early 1990's so what does he know?
Mark Gardiner and Loz Colbert who once sucked in the rarefied air of straight-in-at-Number 75 indie-stardom with Ride are obviously hoping that those heady moments were only a dry-run for new band The Animalhouse.
After all his old mucker Andy Bell only landed up in Oasis so he hasn't really much to live down to. Gardiner had one of those floppy-lipped faces that like Naked Chef Jamie Oliver's you'd be hard-pressed to ever tire of smacking with a shovel.
That pretty much summed Ride up. A fey, low-fat polyunsaturated Quorn burger of a band that seemed irritatingly embarrassed to have anybody staring at them. Shoegazing as it was known, was all that we had back then, when the only hi-glamour alternatives were Kingmaker and Cud.
Well thankfully The Animalhouse are a totally different stripe of rock'n'roll animal otherwise all us poor long-suffering music-critics would have all chipped in to have some Yardie sort 'em out, like.
Opener and last single 'Small' is a sinewy snatch of bad attitude and not terribly unlike Gay Dad's 'Joy'. That's no bad thing whatsoever. 'Animalhouse' the song is as intoxicating as Animalhouse the band -a thickly perfumed puff of Krishna-beardy-Beatles and early angular Cure.
'Speakeasy' is both doleful yet uplifting whilst 'Sodium Glow' is redolent of Ride in their prime and therefore very rubbish indeed.
'Ready to Receive' is a far better album than anybody could ever have expected given the rather suspect pedigree of its chief protagonists. Use that as a benchmark though, and 45 minutes of your ex-girlfriend going at it in the bedroom next door would be far easier on the ear. (Jackie Flynn - http://uk.launch.yahoo.com)

Easily the most intriguing UK album debut for yonks (or longer), this diverse and dynamic new band is led, to a large extent, by songwriter/guitarist Sam Williams, best known as the man who produced the earliest Supergrass material, but destined to be hailed as a founder member of the Animal House. An absurdly gifted songwriter and arranger in his own right, Williams' talents are enhanced by the presence of formidable former Ride members Mark Gardener and Loz Colbert. The inclusion of long-time Oxford scene keyboardist Jason King, who also writes, means that the band has no less than three songwriters. Then there's Hari Teah, a female bassist who, curiously, is not there because she looks gorgeous (which she does) or because of her wacky-funky stage moves, but because she plays damn tough basslines, sings like a wasted angel and, yes, also writes songs. Nowhere in the 12 tracks is there anything resembling filler. It's as if this band has access to a vast library of great songs, and is determined to play them with the maximum energy, emotion and intelligence they can muster--which is bucketloads. From thrashy-but-tuneful rock with unexpected twists to classic balladry with sweet vocal harmonies ("Always Be" could easily have been written by the Rascals or the Association), Ready To Receive is the kind of album that could spin off massive pop hit singles but still score high credibility points when spotted atop the CD player. (Johnny Black - http://www.amazon.co.uk)


- Ready To Receive
- Small
- Space Trash
- Animal House
- Wasted
- Animal
- Speakeasy
- Essence
- Sodium Glow
- Sunday Driver
- Always Be
- Mantra

THE ANIMALHOUSE

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