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Alice Donut - Ten Glorious Animals

  by Lisa Torem

published: 27 / 1 / 2010

Alice Donut - Ten Glorious Animals
Label: Alternative Tentacles
Format: CD


Fulfilling and psychedelic-influenced tenth studio album from New York City-based post punks, Alice Donut

Between 1987 and 1996, Alice Donut boasted seven full-length albums and 15 EPs and singles. During this decade they also toured North America, Europe and Japan. 2004's 'Three Sisters' and 2006's 'Fuzz' consisted of their hallmark congruence of hard rock and post-punk. These albums were released by Giffen’s Howler Records. Currently with Alternative Tentacles, the freshly-baked Alice Donut CD ‘Ten Glorious Animals’ will certainly sate the sweet-tooth of the most finicky confectionist. Tom Antona (vocals), Michael Jung (guitar), Stephen Moses (drums), Sissi Schulmeister (bass) and Dave Giffen(guitar) make-up this Brooklyn-based quintet. The opener which embraces the lyric, “Mrs. Carradine doesn’t seem to like it when you call for a recipe/She doesn’t seem to like it much at all/Not at all” is loud, sexy, irritatingly charming, but resolutely beautiful in its disapproval of domesticity. The lyric, “It has the appearance of something weird/The same appearance of something weird” hits the spot. Mid-way through “I despise this” is repeated and followed by a bruising salt-lick of electric blues. As a result this tune is very unpredictable, though amazingly filling. ‘No More Room’ has a purely punk after- taste. “I’ve seen your head grow/ I’ve seen your face/There’s no more room,” explode these caustic thoughts. Fuzzy guitar and lightning- quick percussion merge with riffs that cut through London fog. These elements add to the elasticity of the self-rising batter. ‘Wide’ slows it down with detailed observances like “the endless lines of telephone wires floating overhead.” ‘Lorelei and Henry’ lavish literary textures with comical physical references such as “squintish eyes and a bookish look.” Character development continues when we find out that “Henry slept with her friend from Poughkeepsie last fling before she wed.” ‘Shiloh’ would be simply dark and deep with in-your-mug bass, but snips of “chili in a can/Bottle of Jack/All the shiny dirty bits” make it a blue- plate special. ‘See the lights glint off the artillery shells in the Tennessee night where a league of men fell” cast an even deeper silhouette. ‘Esophagus’ introduces stark Gregorian imagery and ‘Old Dominion’ is blunt – “Take a road to old dominion/Take a road to flesh and sin.” The initially slowly moving bars of ‘The Calvalry’ spin like a crickety carnival carousel; then the queries, "Have you pre-existing conditions?/No one’s gonna call the calvalry/Have you considered outside opinions?/No one’s gonna save you here but me" up the existential ante. One of the more savoury aspects of ‘Ten Glorious Animals’ is the endless range of themes and the cleverly, lyrical way in which they’re explored. Therefore, I was surprised by the closer; a trombone-ladled instrumental cover of the Pixies ‘Where Is My Mind’ which recalls the catchy ‘Karma Police.’ Although I was perplexed as to why a tune with strong vocals wasn’t chosen for the finale, I still felt happily rewarded from antipasto to aperitif. The genre Alice Donut dominates, described as: “bent psych freak pop” pretty much crystallizes this musical journey. That said, Alice Donut’s ‘Ten Glorious Animals’ is an infinitely tantalizing banquet for the senses.

Track Listing:-
1 Mrs. Carradine
2 No More Room
3 Wide
4 Don't I Know
5 Lorelei & Henry
6 Shiloh
7 Esophagus
8 Old Dominion
9 Prog Jenny
10 The Cavalry
11 Where Is My Mind

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