Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
Tree of Tongues


4.0
excellent

Review

by controlled USER (10 Reviews)
July 24th, 2012 | 127 replies | 18,859 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist


11 of 11 thought this review was well written

The biggest problem with Exotic Animal Petting Zoo to date has been whether to take them seriously or not. With their outlandish name matched vibrantly with their song titles it was often disconcerting to put hope in a band that sang about “Richard Dean Anderson/One Is In Sheol, the Pit”. So with their sophomore album all (two or three) eyes were on the band to deliver something meaningful, something “fans” could legitimately defend. Well Tree of Tongues is here and nothing is answered but that may be the point. Tongues dives into a rabbit hole everyone was afraid to acknowledge, but many knew hid wonders. It envelops the listener almost immediately into a world only mad men live and is amplified by its stunning beauty. Though faults lay in its predictability and almost refusal to sneak back into the crazy song structures their debut was heralded for, Tongues mostly succeeds because, though normal in its appearance, it’s batshit fucking crazy.

Literally...

The opening number “Pharmakokinetic” starts the trip on a correct note, “THE BLOOD!” is poured violently against soothing “ooo’s” that uncomfortably swallow the listener into the cacophonic world that EAPZ dwell in menacingly. Psychotic vocal transitions back drop the eerie atmosphere that all too well reminds of a nightmare much better forgotten. Distortion rings against wailing lines of misery screaming lyrics in wistful pander; several songs embark upon this same trail laid out rather elegantly. Lead singer, Brandon Carr, is the main attraction from this solid trajectory. His madness and range both lyrically and vocally dispels tracks from their poignant moods to their frantic ones. The ending to “Through.Modern.”, though unseen, is complementary to the three minute build up. He plays upon this formula often, and the album's best track, “Through the Thicket...Across Endless Mountains” utilizes it best. Both evocative and numbing, the song soars barren depths to tremolo uplifting highs that sequence some of the best moments to be heard in the band's career.

But these instances can become more than numbing. In fact, most may consider the band too one dimensional. They may indeed use the ‘build up’ as a (sometimes) serious crutch here and again, but I believe instead of considering them a one trick pony, they uphold tricks on many ponies. Compared to their debut Tongues is considerably more consistent and that offers a significantly stronger listen. Where before songs would veer into mind-numbing madness that seemed to never end, here we’re given brief glimpses of insanity that beautify into soundscapes that swallow rooms with their density. Taking the one-two-punch of “M.U.M.B” into “The Great Explainer” one only needs to hear the gaps between the two. Swirling spider-like leads evolve out of gentle strumming to create a surreal elegance that feels more fragile than possible.

And here we go. So much of EAPZ rides on their unpredictability. One minute they’re taunting you with poppy choruses that feel wrongly misplaced for the progressiveness that was suggested in the previous two minutes “Kaspar Hauser Could See the Stars In the Daytime” (seriously, these titles), that in some of the most critical instances of the disc, we’re left frustrated. Instead of opting for moments of bliss the listener is handed what sounds like laziness. This is where that predictability that sets it apart stems. This has been a huge complaint so far. But it’s honestly welcomed. With this stability comes tighter song structures from a band who have the technicality to pull it off without needing Tool-esque lengths. And they’re memorable enough without needing to be “catchy”. Both Jeffrey Zampillo and Brandon Carr do a more than satisfactory job weaving intricate layers of complexity to their riffs that nothing really ever feels repeated; this also aids in the replayability factor. So, yes, we could sit here and say EAPZ have fallen victim to the accessibility factor, but this becomes immediately laughable when you simply read these track titles. You listen to these lyrics of “gravy cravings”. Also, listening to this madness never hurts either.



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user ratings (210)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
controlled
July 24th 2012



467 Comments


interesting album. and easily better than their first.

wacknizzle
July 24th 2012



12606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet album, sweet band. It kind of has a wierd flow and that's it's biggest downfall for me. I've been meaning to listen to it some more. Not bad for a first review, pos'd.

Digging: Burrow - The Collapse of Time

controlled
July 24th 2012



467 Comments


why thanks.

Calculate
July 24th 2012



1135 Comments


oh man oh man oh man

bloc
July 24th 2012



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album and an awesome review.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Evreaia
July 24th 2012



3953 Comments


Gypsy

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

controlled
July 24th 2012



467 Comments


gypsy is a great song but i'm a sucker for those transitions

Devastator
July 24th 2012



2452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, this album is sick.

CaptainDooRight
July 24th 2012



28321 Comments


listened to a few songs off this that were just ok but i was thinking about giving it a full listen since the album is free and what not

but good rev, pos

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

ChuckyTruant
July 24th 2012



15706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

where is the album free at?

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

CaptainDooRight
July 24th 2012



28321 Comments


really guys?

Don't tell me you guy's don't know about newalbumrelease.com

ChuckyTruant
July 24th 2012



15706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i do not

CaptainDooRight
July 24th 2012



28321 Comments


you are in for a treat chuck

CaptainDooRight
July 24th 2012



28321 Comments


That site is the closest to legal as you're gonna get, they even have a DCMA Policy on the site.

Read it here:

http://newalbumreleases.net/dcma-policy/

ChuckyTruant
July 24th 2012



15706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm sweet. Thanks man you're a true bro

CaptainDooRight
July 24th 2012



28321 Comments


@Chuck - thanks man, I've to really like you too man. Haha I remember when you first came on this site and I said surely knows about Chuck from the band death. And you said no and I was like get on it bro. Not sure if you did or not but I've been seeing you around man. Stay true.

ChuckyTruant
July 24th 2012



15706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah man I did. I got Symbolic and Sound of Perserverence if I could spell lol on my iPod man

controlled
July 24th 2012



467 Comments


that was a very interesting site, can't believe i'd never heard of it

ChuckyTruant
July 24th 2012



15706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah same

CaptainDooRight
July 24th 2012



28321 Comments


"Yeah man I did. I got Symbolic and Sound of Perserverence if I could spell lol on my iPod man"

Sweet

"that was a very interesting site, can't believe i'd never heard of it"

me too, it's one of the most well known sites I've ever heard of and is at the top of most search engines, but enjoy fellas



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