“There Can Be No Dispute That Monsters Live,” contains the overall message of The Sounds of Animals Fighting‘s Lover, The Lord Has Left Us…, in a very They Might Be Giants meets a 60 year-old guy in a Haight Street café, still drumming on his bongo from the days of LSD and flowers in your hair. It’s both hilarious and blatantly truthful in its meaning.
Singing acappella, the crooner proclaims, “Traditionally in Western music, noises have been taboo / And there are precise reasons for this…music could be noted in precise intervals for the first time / It was mainly vocals music, sounds predominantly with vowels rather than consonants / If I sing a melody of consonants now, people say it isn’t music. And there you see how narrow our concept of music is / from having excluded consonants and noises.”
No need. Forget comprehension. In fact, it is highly overrated in the world of The Sound of Animals Fighting.
That is the beauty of this truly unique musical entity, one which is void of any irony in their identity. The juxtaposition (and I use that word sparingly, but in this case it can’t be helped) lies in the gorgeous nature of Nightingale’s (producer and lead singer who comes as close to a male version of Bjork as I’ve ever encountered) choruses and harmonies that collide with a jazz alley cat getting caught in the spokes of a flying Vespa scooter, a shiny, mint green scooter gliding along in slow motion as the sun hits the exploding cloud of white and golden fur just right in the summer sky.
Eastern, ceremonial influences penetrate the atmosphere of tribal drums, which shift into space gear and electro waves of odyssey inspired escapades on “My Horse Must Lose.” Wonderful noise from another planet twists in a pile of metal to the cerebral spoken word, yelling word poetry delivered on “Chiracho Summit.” Fitting for a soundtrack to accompany climbers up Mount Everest is the blindly gorgeous “Skullflower,” as is the quasi drum and bass ala Mars track “Horses in the Sky” that tricks your ears with an interlude of Depression era instrumentation before pulling back into an arena rock session.
This tribe of animals, made up of Nightingale, a Lynx, Tiger, Tortoise, Skunk, Hyena, Bear, and Llama (who also contributes vocals), has not only thrown any indie rock pre-fab package out the window, they’ve burned it, stomped the ashes into smithereens, sucked them up with a Dyson vacuum, and then promptly threw that puppy into a woodchuck.
If only more bands had such a crazy array of artistic creativity and large huevos. Two snaps AND a twist!