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$™ Album Review N°2: Animatist - INVERTED


Brent O'Toole, Danielle Fernandes, Ian Hinds, Steve Cook

Hey! So how about first a fun/short history lesson, whynot? Did you know that Animatist were among the very first handful of lovely artists with releases around the time of their wonderfilled album Face Club (2017) which got our marbles turning on the idea of re-opening the dusty ol' Peanut Gallery? Well yeah, true story, y'all!


Anyhoo, how about the latest from this fine modern jazzrock quartet, eh? What's the scoop on those crazy avant-prog-post-psych-math kids nowadays, huh? Well, if I may briefly opine as the truly unprofessional quasi-journalist that I am this is a damn hard/fine act to write about! Why, you ask? It's maybe because they're one of the few acts out and around who can never be narrowed to one style or another. They traverse genres, kinda/sorta, but they more-so produce a fusion of musics which conveys a complete & distinct sonic picture unique to their own work — an especially big ask of any entirely instrumental band achieving a sound which doesn't nearly resemble anything else.


An excerpt of "Weird Digits" with visuals by VERSA


It's kinda funny, b/c talking to the band about this a little I realized that when human_ppl hear Animatist's music, it's almost like ya gotta grasp @ micro-straws for comparison, but there's really just no getting a grip, so you delve into that nano-feeling you got during that one part of that one song from this other band which sounds nothing like what Animatist does but just hits a nearby nerve for a quick millisecond...or maybe somewhich exhibits the notion of philosophical alignment, but nothing in the way of aesthetic similarity. So there, those're my thoughts assembled on what Animatist does to my brain when charged w/ putting to words this blenderful of amazing wordless music.


...But yeah, so I guess that new album must kick pretty hard, right? Real-deal shit, am I correct, folks? Oh, sweet fuck yesss, my good sucka!!!


(Okay, will clean up the language a bit now because this album is all class, yo 🧐)



Top shelf musicianship from all involved parties: this production exhibits a grossly skilled foursome operating as a conjunct unit, making all those d/t skills work f/t for the music w/o any empty calories. Beginning the day with a minimal, isolated guitar intro on "Where's My Dopamine?!" is a stroke of brilliance, leading the listener throbbing with anticipation toward the entranceway of the full band hitting a dinger right off the bat with their relentlessly sophisticated interplay. The band exudes more attitude than ever before, too, and if there's any doubt at all, the timbre on that sax will set ya straight there, bud! It's a journey thru dynamic shifts and delicate melod-o-rhythmic tangles which are only possible when a group of musicians have refined/defined their abilities to create such lockstep movements absolutely reliant on everyone being exactly where they need to be at all times, and Animatist are all there at every turnaround.



Ya know, the tune "Weird Digits" has echoed 'round PG-land since we put out that little live vid from the Inaugural Ball thing we did almost a year ago. Well, hearing this one in all its studio-rec'd glory is just a dream come true. What a composition! With Steve Cook (bass) & Ian Hinds (drums) propelling the energy as Brent O'Toole (guitar) & Danielle Fernandes (sax) traverse melodic planes in sinister synchronicity, it sorta takes one's breath away, doesn't it? And the chef's kiss with that unison closing phrase — ahhh, sooo gooood!


But, wait? Someone said there's more?!?! 😮 Well, yuh-huh, human_folks! We haven't even mentioned all about those upcoming trippy ring-mod guitar soups juxtaposing exquisite softerer moments, and amazing tension/release alternating math/chaos passages over brick-house comporhythms, and, and... there just don't seem to be anymore words worthy of synopsizing the particular essence of this particularly essential listening experience...


...That is, I guess, unless you possess the sticky-smooth syntax of Glue Gun Records' one and only Richard Holliday! So without further ado, stick it to 'em, Rich!