Exotic Animal Petting Zoo - www.myspace.com/exoticanimalpettingzoo - consists of the Carr brothers Steve (drums, vocals) and Brandon (Vocals, Guitar, effects), and Scott Certa on base.
Now...Where to start? I'll admit this is a tough one for me to express with eloquence that effectively catches the magnitude of this band's sound, so forgive me if I go a bit overboard at any time.
But there's something to this band, henceforth EAPZ for my keyboard's sake. Something organic and raw about it all - but then equally polished and layered on the other end. They intertwine a whacky blend of grind-ish metal-core ish riffs, rarely heading into the chugga-chugga breakdowns but keeping it ball-bustingly heavy all the same. Though they are not the epitome of any particular branch of music, they are exceptionally talented musicians in the departments they embrace, achieving a bending, mind-twisting, cat-and-mouse chase of semi absurd genre changes.
But enough with the convoluted descriptions. The instrumentation on this album is excellent and worth describing. The base mirrors some of the guitar's most complex and fast riffs like on "B) Curse of the Sands" or "Hairdresser", only to jump into Chili Pepper-esque funky riffs on tracks like "Every Waking Moment." At no points did I feel it was filler, and always audible. The guitar, I would say, is the backbone here. How Brandon Carr plays and sings (very well, at that) live is somewhat baffling - more so than when Thomas Erak of The Fall of Troy is faced with his most involved moments. The brutal thrashy passages on this album are paced in such a way as being reminiscent of Dillinger in their early days, and I'd even make the stretch of comparing the softer passages to the likes of Radiohead (vocally, and this is a loose comparison) or The Mars Volta. Those who take a listen will probably find room to disagree in this respect, as its decidedly difficult to find valid comparisons for this concoction.
The drumming keeps up and goes beyond at some parts, is always suited to the music and is rediculously fast at times. We are faced with a trio of very good musicians without a doubt. Which brings me to production:
It's pretty much perfect. Not much to say. No moments where I thought to myself, "too scratchy" or 'overproduced' although some will say, based on their tastes, that it is in fact overproduced if they prefer the element of scratchiness in their music.
Really this is not a five star album because I felt one track, "A balloon over Kyoto City" to be slightly dragged on (as an instrumental) and disrupted the pace of the album marginally. Although far from being an unlistenable song, the album is quick to build your expectations and so this song may feel like a bit of an unnecessary pit-stop.
So I guess give a listen and tell me if you agree! This band's not highly regarded or known of so I encourage discussion :D.