The Sound of Animals Fighting
The Ocean and the Sun


4.5
superb

Review

by Antonio Sanchez USER (2 Reviews)
November 16th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Things that don't shift and grow are dead things."-Leslie Marmon Silko.

Progress. If anything, 2008 will be remembered as a year of progress. Breaking through countless racial tides in our country, President-elect Barack Obama has managed to inspire and re-energize millions of Americans, culminating many to stand up and demand change in a very downtrodden time for our country. Swimming past world records, eight-time gold medalist Michael Phelps has managed to not only impress people world wide with his outstanding competitiveness, but has also pushed the very boundaries of what mankind is capable of. Demanding change in the way music is played and recorded, in such a bland time where tight pants and condescending lyrics pollute the music charts, The Sound of Animals Fighting boldly bring forth their third and final album, The Ocean and the Sun. An innovative album of twelve thought-provoking tracks, The Sound of Animals Fighting (from here on out, referred to as TSOAF) gladly march to their own beat, spilling forth clumsy guitar riffs, energized percussive blows, sanscrit poems and wailing vocals to those willing to give their music a listen.

Members the Nightingale (Rich Balling, ex-Rx Bandits member), the Walrus (Matt Embree, of Rx Bandits), the Lynx (Chris Tsagakis, of Rx Bandits), the Skunk (Anthony Green, of Circa Survive), and the Wolf (Matthew Kelly, of The Autumns) all put together a wonderful mass of noise, having each recorded in different locations. Despite the fact that each band member has never played together in the same room, TSOAF manage to put together some truly awe-inspiring songs. Starting things off right with the title track, “The Ocean and the Sun”, TSOAF show from the get-go what they’re all about: odd time signatures, noisy, atmospheric synths, stumbling guitar riffs, peculiar (to say the least) lyrics, and, at times, poems that are read aloud by some unknown lady. As off-putting as it may sound, upon a second listen it’s easy for one to find the beauty in it all.

While some may argue it to be the band’s biggest strength, many might push away the idea of an album that demands to be listened to two or three times, a truly definitive “grower” album. Those who are patient and open-minded, however, will be fully rewarded with the album’s centerpiece tracks, “Cellophane” and “The Heraldic Beak of the Manufacturer’s Medallion”. Leading into one another, “Cellophane” takes a slow, atmospheric pace, allowing vocalist Rich Balling to truly strut his stuff and wail his heart out. After a trumpet solo and a rapid crescendo, guitarist Matthew Embree erupts into a tear-jerking, blues-inspired guitar solo before hitting the ground face first with an abrupt false ending. After a quick pause, the band manages to get back on track, playing at a break-neck speed and wailing like wild men. Continuing on from “Cellophane”, “The Heraldic Beak…” keeps the same pace and aggression, lead by a screaming Anthony Green. Taking a break only towards the end, vocalist Anthony Green and drummer Christopher Tsagakis take control of the track’s last thirty seconds before fading out into a noisy synth.

While not quite the music revolution that Refused’s 1998 masterpiece The Shape of Punk to Come was, TSOAF’s The Ocean and the Sun truly manages to push the very boundaries of music, dripping with creativity from the sanscrit poem read aloud in the intro track to the slow tin can drum fade away in the album’s final track, “On the Occasion of Wet Snow”. Not quite an album for those who are impatient, I strongly recommend this album to those who are willing to give something new, something odd, something exciting yet intimidating a try.


user ratings (564)
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, ...

Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (4)
Lacking Craig Owens, The Sound of Animals Fighting are better than ever....

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 
marksellsuswallets
November 16th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Despite the fact that each band member has never played together in the same room

But...but...they have...

KritikalMotion
November 16th 2008


2262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ya that was only for the first album i'm pretty sure. Bit different now.

iamrockzorz
November 16th 2008


1029 Comments


really good first review, keep at it

bustyagunz
November 16th 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

anthony green doesnt scream in heraldic beak, n that refused reference was a huge stretch. it would be nice if you addressed the genre or what it sounded like rather than only the constituents, but blah blah blah. this is very well written for a first. ill pos

ant4tbc
November 16th 2008


373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whoa alot of comments.

yeh to mark, from what i heard from my friends and wiki, they didn't record it in the same room. oh well, my bad.

to busty, yeh a bit of a stretch, but...idk.

thanks for the comments though.

marksellsuswallets
November 16th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They don't really record in the same room but they've definitely played in the same room...I mean they have a dvd...and the writing process for this album wasn't the same as previous albums I'm fairly certain...

shortz
November 17th 2008


201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review, completely agree with the "grower" aspect.



Bleak123
November 17th 2008


1902 Comments


This band are so good. really enjoy their stuff but never bothered to listen through a whole album. That will change soon.This Message Edited On 11.17.08

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
November 17th 2008


8021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. Pretty sure Anthony Green is still in Circa Survive though.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2008


17945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah he def is

Zippermouth
November 17th 2008


1305 Comments


whoa alot of comments.


just wait until you put out a review that disses an album that everyone else loves. Sit back and wait for the flood.
I dont like this band. I was hoping for something scary when I heard the name. It doesnt really sound like animals fighting, unless the animals we are talking about are lap dogs and kittens.

ant4tbc
November 17th 2008


373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

anthony green problem=fixed.

fractured
November 17th 2008


367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album gives me smiles... definitely their best album yet and I'm glad they went back to the core of the band. Really interesting, chill-yet-exhilirating listen.

IAmInsect
November 17th 2008


3799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dont like this band. I was hoping for something scary when I heard the name. It doesnt really sound like animals fighting, unless the animals we are talking about are lap dogs and kittens.
ROFL

G3LLISTER
November 17th 2008


74 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bands that don't progress eventually die in my opinion. if they take their initial style and just tweak it slightly so every release then they always come out with something that'll impress the fans (that's why I love TSOAF and Thrice)

HUMGUY009
December 13th 2008


35 Comments


should I like this band, if I like circa survive and the mars volta?This Message Edited On 12.13.08

Bleak123
December 13th 2008


1902 Comments


yes especially as this is better than circa survive (and yes i do like circa)

girtbypiss
December 17th 2009


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best thing anthony green has ever done in my opinion. circa's good but kinda overrated. if you like mars volta and circa youll definitely like this as it kind of sounds like both in ways. its a grower though so you gotta give it some time.

samstrikesback
December 19th 2009


28 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you are into TMV you should be able to get into this easily.



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