Taking our introduction to Canadian trio Like Animals through new EP Feral, it did not take long for their sound to show it matched up to the release’s title; each of its five tracks an untamed slice of noisy revelry and warped imagination and all leaving the licking of lips and a taste for more.
Hailing from Orillia in Ontario, the trio of guitarist/lead vocalist Jamie Haffenden, drummer/backing vocalist Will Tennant, and bassist/backing vocalist Myke Caouette create what is declared in regard to the EP as deviant melodic math metal. Equally though, it has paws in progressive technical metal, noise rock, and hardcore ferocity we would suggest, all flavours amongst others spicing up the increasingly impressing Feral. Following previous EPs from Sweet Whispers, Plagued Ears to The Undertoad and The Wild, the latest encounter is another animal themed exploit challenging and unsettling the senses and gripping the imagination with its unbroken raw spirit and fierce exploration.
The EP opens with its title track and initially a low key, melancholically toned guitar coaxing which is quickly joined by Haffenden’s voice. A few moments more and Tennant and Caouette bring a bulkier incitement with their rhythms, each carrying raucous intent to their catchy nature; William English meets At The Drive-In coming to mind through it all. Subsequent jazz lined weaves of guitar and moody bass shuffles only divert the creative adventure to new thrilling detours though they never meander too far from the driving compelling core of the encounter.
Perpetually unpredictable and magnetic, the track is a gripping start to proceedings instantly backed by the Fall of Troy meets Red Hot Chili Peppers like discordance of The Lions Share. Everything from vocals to sonic tempting has an off-kilter edge and mania to it yet things never lose structure or captivation even as hardcore ferocity succumbs to advent-grade devilry, and in turn it to a punk fuelled uproar. Again expectations are left lifeless as the track continues to creatively twist and turn like a dervish before Lounge Lizard relaxes things with its unconventional balladry and skittish canvas of ear bait and invention. Every Time I Die in league with early Postcard Records era bands like Orange Juice or Josef K comes to mind at times, not for clear reasons the latter pair but close enough to suggest the ingenuity at play as the song seduces at times whilst on its way to a more volatile and explosively dynamic trespass of ears and passions.
The indie punk/technical rock discord juiced eccentricity of Caterwaul ignites ears and appetite next, bordering on frenzied reactions admittedly whipped up by its tempestuous landscape of bullish ideation and exhausting noise aligned to seductive asides and mellow trespasses. As creatively busy as it is though, The Jungle Book of Love provides an even more feverish incitement whilst bringing the heated confusion and clamorous beauty of its namesake to bear on ears and thoughts. Dipping into spices of Mars Volta and The Dillinger Escape Plan, the track is a tapestry of wilding craft and sonic, maybe slightly deranged, adventure.
That description easily applies to Like Animals as a creative force too, a thought cemented as Feral for the umpteenth time sets our passions boiling whilst words are written.
The Feral EP is released January 22nd @ http://likeanimals1.bandcamp.com
Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016
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