Monday, June 22, 2009

Animal Hospital – Good or Plenty, Streets + Avenues

As a Boston area engineer Kevin Micka has built his reputation as a first rate loop guru. Guiding guitar, drums and other sound sources through a maze of electronics he creates vivacious streams of notes that change colour with each new collision. The vivid playfulness of The Books is called to mind as a comparison. For all the high-resolution detail and clever juxtaposition of sounds Animal Hospital falls prey to a problem that plagues many sound-happy artists. The building, building, building up of many tracks never actually becomes anything more than a foundation to a song. Certain pieces like, “March and June” with its systolic beat, whirring resonance and cooing vocals promises to swerve but never changes its arrow-straight path off into a vanishing point. “Barnyard Creeps” is a late-comer that breaks that tradition and uses a gnarled guitar form to force directional shifts. Micka’s knack for interesting textures and complementary colours make the album an easy listen, but one that fails to leave lasting impressions.

Mutable Sound

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