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Red Animal War - Black Phantom Crusades

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 15 / 11 / 2002



Red Animal War - Black Phantom Crusades
Label: Deep Elm
Format: CD

intro

"Classy" emo rock, with musical styles ranging from intricate hardcore, to anthemic rock, to loose jazz, from Texan based foursome, Red Animal War


Red Animal War first came to my attention with a track on Ignition Records’ excellent 'Firework Anatomy' compilation, but I can’t say that they immediately stood out on that record. But, they obviously stood out to some people because the Texas based foursome have been snapped up by Deep Elm, first for a split with Slowride, and now for a full length album. Quite frankly, they have surpassed all my expectations and put out a quite brilliant album, one of Deep Elm’s very best. The first two songs are really great. Both appear to be typical emo-rock songs but closer examination reveals intricate guitar work, and a massive variety in sound and texture. The band manage to capture the experimentation of bands like the Appleseed Cast and Logh, but they also add melodies that evoke the likes of Brandtson. Later on Red Animal War demonstrate both that they have the necessary songwriting skills to slow the pace down a bit, and that they can rock out with the best of them. They have plenty of diversity, with musical styles ranging from intricate hardcore, to anthemic rock, to loose jazz. It’s all very classy. The songs themselves are all heartfelt, with a lyrical style that reminds me of Pedro The Lion, very plain language but honest and passionate. Often this touches me more than extravagant wordplay. This is far from the standard fare, and demonstrates a band that could equal Fugazi in giving the emo sound a twist. If you like Fugazi, or Sonic Youth, Shellac, Sweep The Leg Johnny!, Appleseed Cast, Bluetip or Elliott, then this should blow you away.



Track Listing:-
1 Still
2 When Fat Pigs Fly
3 Straight Lines For Construction Workers
4 Making Zealots
5 When I Get The Feelin (Back In My Hands)
6 The Day After Yesterday
7 Mouse
8 And So It Begins With Bombs
9 Gattaca
10 Photel California
11 Jambalaya
12 Right Now, Today, I Don't Believe In Hell



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