The Sound of Animals Fighting
The Ocean and the Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
September 8th, 2008 | 148 replies | 32,347 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lacking Craig Owens, The Sound of Animals Fighting are better than ever.

One album removed from Lover, the Lord Has Left Us, The Sound of Animals Fighting have a ‘kind of new/kind of old’ line-up and sound. The first noticeable difference is the absence of Craig Owens (Chiodos) from the band. Granted he made solid contributions occasionally, the band is much better off. In fact, there’s a drastic difference in vocal quality (for the better) from The Sound of Animals Fighting’s latest work The Ocean and the Sun as compared to Lover, the Lord Has Left Us. The second and final difference is the overall sound and songwriting. They managed to mingle the roots of the progressive-rock edge that Tiger & the Duke had and incorporate the experimental ideas that have been floating around all along, but finally executed well with more of a relaxing undertone. The collective notion of these ideas just might be worth getting excited about.

Skipping all of the foreplay, it’s easy to say that the first seven songs of The Ocean and the Sun are nothing short of incredible. The slow progressions of “The Ocean and the Sun.” and “I, Swan” remind everyone that they are not regressing completely to their debut Tiger & the Duke, but rather expanding their sound further than ever before. Anthony Green and Matt Embree’s vocals are remarkable as ever (see: “I, Swan” and “Cellophane”). In addition, the array of instruments utilized creates gorgeous landscapes that make a grown man blush. However, it’s hard to take away the fact that The Sound of Animals Fighting are still distinguished progressive-rock songwriters. “Another Leather Lung” and the centerpiece of the album “The Heraldic Beak Of The Manufacturer's Medallion,” craftily combines the elements that a slew of bands long for in progressive rock by knowing the limitations to take guitar riffs and bridges without becoming drawn-out and tiring. But with the successes found so far, there are a few letdowns to ensue.

The Ocean and the Sun somewhat squanders from that point on, losing some direction and focus. That is not to say that the latter chunk of the album is necessarily bad, but the identity of the album becomes cluttered. While tracks like “Chinese New Year” and “Ahab” are interesting interlude pieces, the tracks overall sound does not mesh with the rest of the album. Another mystery is “Uzbekistan” placement on the album. “Uzbekistan" is a spacey experimental track switching between artificial and natural drumbeats that I’ve grown to enjoy, but there is seemingly no place for it on the album. A track that does fit however is “Blessings Be Yours Mister V,” which features Rx Bandits frontman Matt Embree on vocals, turns out to be one of more captivating and awe-inspiring tracks along with the album’s eclectic closer, “On The Occasion Of Wet Snow.” Both tracks pull the emotion and artistic visions that make The Ocean and the Sun so fragile and delicate, yet outright enjoyable.

The Sound of Animals Fighting will continue to change and evolve into their idea of what music ought to be. The Ocean and the Sun is another conceptual chapter in their career with no signs of slowing down their objective. They will never recapture the sound of Tiger & the Duke, nor would I want them to after a hybrid record such as this. After all, their sound is more promising than ever and they are almost ‘there.’ For now, The Ocean and the Sun will do just fine.



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user ratings (545)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Kronzo (5)
The Ocean and the Sun is a stupendous and intriguing album. It boasts many different vocal styles, ...

Antonio Sanchez (4.5)
"Things that don't shift and grow are dead things."-Leslie Marmon Silko....

enjoimusiq (4)
"The Ocean and the Sun" is both a great introduction to people who haven't heard of TSOAF, and album...

Brent Stephenson (4)
The Sound Of Animals Fighting reinvent their sound once again, and come out with an album that is, t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 8th 2008



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For those chomping at the bit, here's an album stream: www.myspace.com/thesoundofanimalsfighting

sadmafioso
September 8th 2008



318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

overemphasis on craig owen's departure tbh

great album

IAmInsect
September 8th 2008



3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review, here's a small typo:

“Uzbekistan is a spacey experimental track switching between artificial and natural drumbeats
"Uzbekistan" needs the second quotation mark. album is great.
edit: how bout them chargers!This Message Edited On 09.08.08

Coggyswell
September 8th 2008



112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a fantastic album. i never got into tiger and the duke but i might try it now.

great review.

HighandDriving
September 8th 2008



3230 Comments


It should be emphasised, TSOAF don't need a second Anthony Green.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 8th 2008



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fine, ill get this. *sigh*

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

Bleak123
September 8th 2008



1902 Comments


I can't wait to hear this.

botb
September 8th 2008



9274 Comments


Chiodos is so terrible... I'm so glad he's not in this band anymore.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

marksellsuswallets
September 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Craig Owens didn't detract from the band that much. Although I don't think he is a bad vocalist, I do agree that he didn't really fit well with the sound, or Anthony Green...

IAmInsect
September 8th 2008



3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm trying really hard not to like chiodos but it's not happening

marksellsuswallets
September 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Chiodos isn't bad but they get hated on immensely. Their new album was pretty...well I didn't like it that much but their first album was pretty great. I don't get why people try to like things and try not to like others...

IAmInsect
September 8th 2008



3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

because chiodos is pretty bad but i admittedly like their sound?

botb
September 8th 2008



9274 Comments


i just honestly hate chiodos.

marksellsuswallets
September 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wasn't really singling you out on that one haha, what I meant was it seems like a lot of people try to like bands (i.e. Circle Takes The Square, Tera Melos, and things of that nature) because it seems like they have to like it for people the respect their opinions, and dislike bands for the same reasons. I've never really heard people dissing Chiodos as a whole though, its usually just Craig...

EDIT: except for that guy ^This Message Edited On 09.08.08

IAmInsect
September 8th 2008



3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ya craig is my only problem with chiodos. i mean they're pretty damn generic musically but i like them anyway. and there are times that i'm gay for craig so idk.

botb
September 8th 2008



9274 Comments


haha. Yeah, I just don't like their style. And I have never really tried to compromise my music tastes... as Godspeed! You Black Emperor is one of the most highly regarded bands on sputnik and I find them completely unlistenable. there's quite a few other bands like that.

marksellsuswallets
September 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah there's a few bands that are held in high regard that I just don't like for some reason. Like Bon Iver and Off Minor. I mean I don't consider them bad I just can't really get into them. I hope nobody flames me for that, but I fully expect it haha.

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2008



6073 Comments


nobody cares if you don't like bon iver and off minor but expecting to get flamed probably warrants it

TheStarclassicTreatment
September 8th 2008



2909 Comments


The guy from Chiodos? I did not know that

marksellsuswallets
September 8th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well forgive me for not having faith in the maturity of other people...



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