Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
Tree of Tongues
03. Through the Thicket… Across Endless Mountains
04. You Make Wonderful Pictures
05. Apis Bull
07. The Great Explainer
08. Kaspar Hauser Could See the Stars In the Daytime
09. Gypsy Among the Pines
10. Whores of Babel
Every now an again an album comes along that cannot be classified to one genre of music, simply because it is in a genre all its own. There are many bands that attempt to fuse genres as well, and it ultimately fails (yes, Morbid Angel, I am talking to you). Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, however, found the key to putting different genres together, and it works beautifully. Their new album Tree Of Tongues is the first album I have heard in a long time that took more than a few listens to get it, and also one album that I know is making my year end list for sure.
EAPZ is the perfect example of when things go right. There wasn’t a second on this album where it is questioned why a song was on the record, or why they put a certain passage in the middle of a song. Granted, none of these songs would ever be a radio single, but there are still some songs that are single-worthy. ‘Pharmokokinetic,’ the album’s opener, would make a killer single, and hopefully will be incorporated into their live shows; it’s a great tune that carries quite a bit of groove. ‘You Make Wonderful Pictures‘ is also a greattrack that has probably one of the most memorable riffs on the album. This album is simply full of excellent songs.
The vocals are also a high point for the record. They are very reminiscent of Dillinger’s vocals, along with the rest of the music. The screams have excellent tone and technique and the singing is absolutely beautiful. Brandon Carr does an excellent job of finding the perfect way to make his vocals fit the mood of the song, whether it be nice and calm like on ‘You Make Wonderful Pictures‘ or nice and heavy like in ‘Thorough.Modern.’ The fact that Brandon plays guitar and sings at the same time is something that is a lot more difficult than it sounds considering the intensity of the music that they play.
The production on this album, while a bit loud, is nearly flawless. There’s no fighting for the spotlight; every musician understands what their place is, which is a nice relief from some records that have come out lately. The band’s ability to craft a memorable song that’s only 4 minutes long is also a feat in itself. Many of the songs I remember are the longer epics, not the shorter pieces of music. To me, every single song on this record is memorable in the fact that it is a part of the greater journey this album takes you on. This is probably one of the very few albums where the interludes are actually necessary to the entire release, as it gives the listener a nice break from the influx of chaos throughout. The instrumental ‘M.U.M.B’ and ‘Gypsy Among The Pines‘ are two great segue tracks that make this album that much more fresh.
This album is a little reminder that the music world has not totally gone down the drain. EAPZ created an album that was both memorable and moving, kind of like a play. Each interlude brings in a new act, and the story is continued on up until the final song. It is without a doubt that this release will end up on quite a few “Best of 2012” lists come December, and definitely on mine. So if you love your music to be meaningful, carry some soul, and to go beyond genre limitations and becomes “genre-defying”, then pick this record up. I think it will be a nice change from the norm.
Exotic Animal Petting Zoo – Tree of Tongues gets…