Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Animal City - "See You in the Funny Pages"

Here's the thing about Chicago quartet Animal City: I was going to pay my electric bill last week, realized I didn't have the money, and decided to listen to "Worst Kind of Crush" to cheer me up. Is it because they sing about doing drugs with your friends? I don't know. Well, yeah, it is. This is pop music made that goes into dark places with a sense of humor. Or maybe it's a sense of humor that can go into dark places. Mood lifting shit that makes sour milk go down easier. 
My brain is in a weird place today, and I think the band's main songwriters Sal Cassato and Dakota Loesch's brains were in that weird place, too, when writing material for their second album "See You in the Funny Pages." This recording is decorated with deviceful and pictorial  lyrics about making mistakes and bad decisions, living in a confused state, and sometimes I don't know what all, thrust through a fieldglass of mod postures that span a novel of musical influences. Sometimes I swear I hear 80s-style pop tunes meshed into college rock. I mean, what, I can name drop to try and describe this sound, but its a broken levee that lets original ideas and creative twists and turns on songwriting that belies a cliche for what is pop music. Fine, I will name drop. Animal City sounds like Huey Lewis writing songs for the Magnetic Fields with members of the Pixies arranging the songs. No it doesn't. But that did jump into my head while listening to this album.

There are loose harmonies and trumpets. There are guitar sections and drum beats and electronic blurts that make you want to dance in your office. All of this all mixed up and tumbled with those lyrics that make you smile when they dwell with earnestness in a cache of sometimes twisted humor that is probably real life. I mean, songs about being high with your girlfriend and passing time lying around with her in her bedroom, leaving your coat at her place on purpose, knowing all the boys she's been with and knowing she flips out sometimes, hanging out in you're birthday suit, looking for drugs, smelling bad, feeling like your not worth anything, not sleeping and then making out, these are things I relate to. These are hot summer nights in the winter.

I bet this album is probably the best road trip album in the world.   

Out on Sophomore Lounge.

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