Exotic Animal Petting Zoo

Tree Of Tongues

Written by: PP on 06/07/2012 03:35:47

Tired of post-hardcore recycling the same old formula over and over again? Yeah, me too. That's why I'd like to draw your attention towards the Indiana based Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, an experimental post-hardcore band that turns the genre upside down and twists its arm in directions not many people thought possible. Much like UnderOATH and Fear Before The March of Flames prior to them, who have undoubtedly been two of their primary inspirations, the band utilize a halfway progressive approach that creates rich soundscapes that most of their peers simply aren't capable of creating. In this case, it means a whole lot of mathcore influence, crazy technical guitar leads, and sublime usage of the clean/scream and quiet/loud dynamic.

On one moment, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo open the floodgates and crash through a song with guns blazing in a technical terror that should leave most people in awe, and the next they interrupt the chaos in favour of an atmospheric, more intricate build up in the vein of City Of Ships. Sometimes even in the same song. What's more, the band use these elements in a way that makes otherwise lengthy (almost six minutes!) and busy songs like " Through The Thicket...Across Endless Mountains" sound catchy, mostly because the band uses prolonged croons and atmosphere in exactly the same manner as Deftones, even though their sounds are otherwise far apart. There's almost a sense of shoegaze embedded within the songs, but these beautiful arrangements are usually quickly contrasted with a hardcore rooted approach.

Then there are moments where the band sounds like Muse and The Mars Volta just entered the post-hardcore scene with their epic, complex expressions. "You Make Wonderful Pictures" is one such example, where atmosphere, ambition and ambiance meet together in an impressive display of how post-hardcore can really sound like. And then you have "Apis Bull" that comes straight after, which basically lays down a Dillinger Escape Plan style mathcore onslaught in the beginning, before transforming into Circa Survive-esque floating vocal harmony for some added contrast. You might not think that works based on the description on paper, but it is again a case of a masterful combination of these elements that makes the song great.

Basically, if you thought you knew everything about post-hardcore, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo will educate you about the hidden potential within the genre on "Tree of Tongues". It's an intricately crafted album full of untapped depth that ensures the album only gets better with continued listening. It's their sophomore album, and for some reason it hasn't been released by Mediaskare yet even though the album was fully mastered and sent to magazines already in February. I don't see what should be delaying this complicated, well-produced piece from being released? Get on with it!


Download: Through The Thicket...Across Endless Mountains, Arcology, You Make Wonderful Pictures
For the fans of: UnderOATH, City Of Ships, Fear Before The March Of Flames
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.08.2012
Mediaskare Records

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