The Sound Of Animals Fighting

The Ocean And The Sun

Written by: PP on 04/01/2009 16:07:44

For their third album "The Ocean And The Sun", The Sound Of Animals Fighting experimental indie / post-hardcore outfit has been stripped down to the core just as it was on the debut album "Tiger & The Duke". That means no more Chiodos singer Craig Owens, no more Days Away members collaborating, and so on. While to some that might have signaled a return to the screaming and the post-hardcore of "Tiger & The Duke", that certainly isn't the case here, as the band moves into a similar direction as Portugal. The Man did on their latest album: a barely recognizable form of what the band once stood for.

Lets start with the vocals, for instance. Anthony Green of Circa Survive fame is involved in this project, but his familiar high pitch croon is rarely heard at all on the record. Instead, the RX bandits guys handle most of the singing here, which is a shame, because Green's high-flying voice combined with the similar pitch of Owens' is what made "Lover, The Lord Has Left Us" so special. When he eventually comes into the mix here, he resorts into medium-pitch singing that sounds annoying and nothing else. See "Another Leather Lung" or the title track for an example.

Instrumentally, the third wave ska-riffage of RX Bandits is audible on a few tracks, but that doesn't really matter because this band has always mostly stood for experimenting with a number of different sounds. That is also the case here but the band has taken it a step too far in my opinion, causing the vivid textures of their sound to suffer and the angular guitars to drown in unnecessary experimentation. There are a few glimpses of the debut's post-hardcore as well as the thorough weirdness of their sophomore present here and there, but for the majority of the time, the band's expression is lost on me. Which is such a shame considering I rated their previous record a 9.

So in summary: over experimentation, lack of comprehensible song structures, lack of vocal duels and especially the lack of Green's high pitch voice makes "The Ocean And The Sun" easily these guys' worst album to date. An incredibly frustrating and utterly disappointing release.


Download: The Heraldic Break Of The Manufacturer's Medallion
For the fans of: RX Bandits, Circa Survive, Portugal. The Man
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.09.2008

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