Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Animals of Ambivalence - CD

From the insert that I read it seems Animals of Ambivalence is the brain child of writer and musician, Katy Otto. These compositions are all lyrically done by Katy, documenting a relationship ending. There are five songs on here, but each song is performed by a different group of people. While all the lyrics are from Otto, the music is written by others, making the transition from song to song less cohesive and more like a compilation due to the drastic change in styles.

I couldn't find myself enjoying the first track "Bear", as it's unsettling electronic noise and distorted vocals are more of an experimental piece than a coherent song to me. "Lamb" is the second track and brings us more to a traditional song structure. The chord progression is catchy and makes the verse work quite well. By the time the chorus comes around it had me reminded of some mid 90's alternative rock.

"Naked Mole Rat" seems to be a bit of a minimalist garage rock track. It has that early 90's riot girl sound in it's verse that I don't particularly enjoy. The bass line is a bit too discordant for me and the vocals are a bit out off key and harsh. Thankfully, the choruses provided some more melodic fare. The second half of the song was a bit too much for me with the out of key vocals.

"Owl" features Aaron Scott of Attica Attica on lead vocals. The key and placement of the vocals over the finger picked guitar works well. I found the chorus to be a bit too radio-friendly sounding at times, but the verses have a soothing quietness to them that's quite beautiful.

"Woman" features Bonnie Schlegel, whose work in the band Bald Rapunzel has been quite memorable to me. This song carries that same soulful voice I remember Bonnie being known for. The percussive acoustic guitar creates something of an unsettling blues effect and Bonnie's voice effortlessly glides over the song very nicely.

Listen to "Woman" here.