Today Is the Day
Animal Mother


3.5
great

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
October 12th, 2014 | 91 replies


Release Date: 10/14/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: From skull drills to happy pills.

An artist able to provoke mental imagery is worthy of praise, yes, but perhaps moreso when said imagery is greatly varied. It ties in with the unpredictability of rampant mental illness, and seminal noise/hardcore act Today Is The Day exemplify madness. Were you to explore the various discussions/reviews/washroom scrawlings inspired by Steve Austin’s brainchild, you would find everything from black-and-white musical descriptors to bizarre incantations, and likely some amateurish psychoanalysis for good measure. It’s just so damn fun to talk about this band, but looking for answers will parallel grasping at straws as the music drags you through its filth. Above all else, I would argue Today Is The Day’s lasting appeal is not simply whether or not they succeed in that aspect, but more specifically how. Whether it’s Austin’s gritty, often degrading lyricism or the muddled, abrasive sludge of instrumentals, there are plenty of reasons for you to feel bad about yourself.

Animal Mother is the latest release in the band’s hefty discography, and Austin has mixed up the lineup, true to form. While many imply he ‘phones-in’ his musicians, the ever-changing lineup never fails to deliver antagonistic riffs and impeccable drum work. The group has a penchant for a unique sound that lacks the usual doctoring filters; it’s sewer-metal at its most endearing. “Discipline” is vile, and effectively spits in your face. The track oozes, and the wretched shriek-bellow tandem vocals take their cue from drummer Jeff Lohrber (Trap Them, Shai Hulud) who, despite his ferocity, trudges forward like a battering ram. “Sick of Your Mouth” is a counterpoint, and provides a rare instance of invigoration with its oddly upbeat progression. As the first few tracks make their mark, it seems Today Is The Day can do no wrong. However, the inclusion of tracks like “Outlaw (Acoustic)” and “Bloodwood” makes no sense. Amidst the chaos, these slower tracks could serve as a respite, but it dulls what could have been a truly venomous edge. This is made all the more frustrating when album closer “Zodiac” reverts mid-song to what sounds like demented Sparklehorse worship - all due respect to the great Mark Linkous, rest his soul - and not at all what you’d want from a Today Is The Day album. It’s very anticlimactic.

It might seem nitpicky to discredit an album for a weak closer, but the flow is imperative - especially for a band so deeply rooted in psychological distress. Regardless, Animal Mother is rife with everything Today Is The Day fans clamour for. Whether or not it embodies the “shaman’s visionary power” as Austin insists remains to be interpreted by those willing to pry, and should you fail to make any such connection, you won’t come up empty handed. I assure you my friends, you simply haven’t lived until you’ve turned the lights off, cut your finger webbing, rubbed your own shit on your face and jammed out to Today Is The Day. Not that I’ve done that, but... you know… I’ve heard.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2014


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

stream/buy: http://todayisthedaysl.bandcamp.com/releases



summary was taken from the heading of this article http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/283/the-history-of-mental-illness-

from-skull-drills-to-happy-pills



oh, and thanks to ExplosiveOranges for proofreading this



update: props to ResidentNihilist for the feedback, should read better now

Supercoolguy64
October 11th 2014


8649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great rev as usual johnny, never jammed to these guys before, thinking about listening to willpower soon since that's

supposed to be their magnum opus or something like that

Digging: Zao - Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest

Funeralopolis
October 11th 2014


14158 Comments


Willpower is amazing yea would definitely recommend as well sadness will prevail. This album on the other is just alright.

Supercoolguy64
October 11th 2014


8649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i heard that they might be playing in my town later this month, if I could, should I go?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2014


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

um yes

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2014


11587 Comments


brilliant review man, I love it. I finished reading the version you sent me and it seems you haven't changed it, I actually couldn't find anything to criticise beyond those that were extremely nitpicky/personal preferences, great stuff.

Digging: Dekagram - May Flights Of Devils Guide

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 12th 2014


28373 Comments


One of your best reviews. That last sentence is just...

Digging: Julia Holter - Aviary

Judio!
October 12th 2014


8433 Comments


I assure you, my friends, you simply haven’t lived until you’ve turned the lights off, cut your finger webbing, rubbed your own shit on your face and jammed out to Today Is The Day.


woah...

ExplosiveOranges
October 12th 2014


4408 Comments


"oh, and thanks to explosiveoranges for proofreading this"

Fuck, I just realized that I've never given you proofing credits in the reviews you've helped me with. Will fix right now. As for
the review: Yeah, they were mostly minor changes, but it looks much better now. And I will say once again: Legitimately the
best conclusion I have ever read.

ResidentNihilist
October 12th 2014


1292 Comments


Good review but I think my main criticism is two-fold. Firstly I think much of the imagery you use adds too much flab to the review and secondly a lot of it is too cliché;

'Austin has always resembled a tormented soul, but rather than make you wallow mutually, would seek gratification by seeing you suffer.'

Rephrase, sounds both clunky, clichéd and too melodramatic.

'“Discipline” is vile, and effectively spits in your face - even better if you’re the masochistic sort.'

Clunky, needs a better description.

'I know, examining a Today Is The Day album for coherence is a losing battle, but bear with me here.'

Unnecessary, the next few lines clarify what you're saying without you having to tell us.

'imagine a straightjacket, rocking chair, and gaping at all the ‘pretty birdies’

Remove, clichéd, doesn't add anything and disrupts the flow of the sentence.

'for those who enjoy the full experience of listening to an album beginning-to-end'

Get rid of this, it makes you sound like an over-pretentious douchebag.

'I assure you, my friends, you simply haven’t lived until you’ve turned the lights off, cut your finger webbing, rubbed your own shit on your face and jammed out to Today Is The Day. Not that I’ve done that, but... you know… I’ve heard.'

Again sounds like bad, clichéd dialogue and is far from original. Rephrase or cut out.

You've got a good eye for detail but you need to cut down on the melodramatic tone and the clichés. Also don't switch into the second tense so much, it disrupts the flow and focus of the review and at the end of the day you can't tell how someone else will feel about the track because it's their reaction not yours and that's the only thing you can write about. As I said but you've got a lot worked out but you just need to polish more.

I'm guessing I'll get attacked for saying something like this but whatever people will be people.



JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2014


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@RN - disagree with a couple of your points, but some are bang on. I'll rework it a bit. Some of those 'unnecessary lines' are just there for conversational tone, but I'll whittle it down if you think it needs to be

owen
October 12th 2014


5145 Comments


It's out? shieet

Lethean
October 12th 2014


1487 Comments


good review need to get on this

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2014


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

do it up, hopefully this gets a bit of buzz, band definitely deserves it

ChoccyPhilly
October 13th 2014


11781 Comments


Man, I don't know what kind of feedback you want but I'll give it a shot.

The first half of the second paragraph doesn't flow anywhere near as well as the rest of the review. it almost seems list like to me, with sentences like "The production is, as expected, raw as fuck." just popping out of nowhere. It doesn't help that 3 sentences consecutively start with "the".

Also, you started off this review with emphasis on the imagery this band creates, something you don't really expand on thoroughly enough. Anything imagery related just disappears half way through the first paragraph and I think it would have made more sense if you carried on with that kind of theme.

Anyway, that's my nitpicking for you. This review is great, but that's me being as critical as I can be. Definitely warrants a pos

Digging: Pale - Pale

ComeToDaddy
October 13th 2014


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Procrastination gives time, so I've already come and read this hahaha.



Really great review man. A few of the criticisms leveled at this are on point, but some of RN's are taken out of the context of the review, and the sentences still work well with the relaxed flow you used. I thought you did a great job of it. Will definitely check out their most well-regarded albums, and if I like them I'll give this a spin (:

Xar
October 13th 2014


1652 Comments


Did the vox improve or nah? Is it not 2.5 hours long?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2014


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Did the vox improve or nah? Is it not 2.5 hours long?"



... well, the vox haven't changed much lol but no this isn't Sadness Will Prevail so it won't take you an afternoon to get through

Xar
October 13th 2014


1652 Comments


I'll just never get over how these guys took a potentially great album and made it an unbearable chore in the hollow pursuit of a magnum opus.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2014


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ehh I dig it still, but it's definitely a daunting listen. Willpower is better



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