‘this review appeared initially on Gonzo Weekly http://www.gonzoweekly.com
Necessary Animals is a South Coast alt psych supergroup featuring members of 23 Skidoo, Near Jazz Experience, Cuban Boys, the Good Missionaries and Alabama 3. It was mixed and mastered for vinyl using analogue technology by Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo, Laibach). Our featured vocalist is Norwegian actor and singer Ingvild Deila, whose screen credits include Avengers Age of Ultron and as Princess Leia in Star Wars Rogue One.
The music references psych, classic rock, neo-classical and alt folk with a twist of dub and electronica.
The limited edition LP (250 copies) is pressed on 180gm vinyl, with full colour outer and inner sleeves, and comes with a CD containing 5 bonus tracks. The first 50 copies come with a goodie bag of badges and postcards designed by friends and band members, each signed by the artist.
Necessary Animals is available from our website at www.necessaryanimals.com or at Bandcamp – necessaryanimals.bandcamp.com
You can listen to our digital single, Amarilla here https://soundcloud.com/necessaryanimals/amarilla-single
On this dark beauty of an album, Necessary Animals knit together diverse influences into a comprehensive whole. The group comprises Keith Rodway (The Good Missionaries), Amanda Thompson (The Big Believe), and Alan Bruzon (Cuban Boys), with a host of top-notch guests, including Simon Charterton (Higsons) on drums, and produced by Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo). Ingvild Deila (yes, that one — Princess Leia in “Rogue One”) brings powerful, honest vocals that are honestly good.
Well-crafted, complex arrangements with an eclectic array of instruments explore anxiety, loss, elusiveness, our animal nature, and hope, whether in the contemporary prog stylings of the eponymous opening track, the upbeat world music flavors of “Talk to Me”, or the psych-Reggae “Walking to Babylon”. The nocturnal, enchanting “Darkness Comes Over the Hills” layers a bluesy guitar solo by Steve Finnerty over a piano backbone and twinkling chimes. “Piano Thing” is modern chamber music, melodic but dissonant, evoking the depths of an unquieting night faced alone. Closer “Revelation” brings us back to the 90’s beat-inflected post-pop we explore on “Amarilla”, admonishing us to be strong, to not be afraid, to not lose hope. The songs draw you into a groove, then throws you a delightful curve ball of a key change, style change, or unexpected instruments coming in. All in all a wonderful album, disturbing and off-kilter enough to be interesting, even challenging, while maintaining melodic beauty and a balance of familiar, comfortable elements.
Jen Grover, freelance writer, editor/writer for the late Tone and
Groove, reviewer for the late Toast magazine, visual artist, musician.