Pinpointing the exact genre of a band like Post Animal is kind of like asking a country musician to not sing about tractors. It can’t be done. On their newest album, the band strives to make it known they will do anything they want to.
After the departure of founding member Joe Keery (YES FROM “STRANGER THINGS” GET OVER IT), the Chicago-based five-piece has dropped its sophomore effort “Forward Motion Godyssey.” The 11-track album finds the band exploring new territory and burning a warpath on the way to defining its sound.
The album, which was recorded in Big Sky this past summer, shows the band truly flexing all of their musical muscle. Taking a cue from the album’s title, each track is its own journey. Strung together, the whole thing is like an odyssey through each band member’s musical mind.
That’s one thing that makes this young band unique. Each member gets the chance to take on lead vocals and contribute their own lyrics, making for a true collaborative effort. A good example of the band’s diversity can be found between the tracks “Safe or Not” and the self-titled “Post Animal.”
The latter is a hard-hitting, big fat fuck you of a song. The deep, brutal tone and speed of the guitars would make any metalhead immediately begin to headbang. It’s a thrash, prog epic with pop hooks. Bassist and vocalist Dalton Allison leads the charge, asking the listener, “are you, are you, animal?” during the chorus. Yes, yes we are.
In contrast, “Safe or Not” is a funky dance hall jam, with harmonizing guitars doing a staccato two-step while Dalton’s voice dreamily floats over the whole piece. Around the midway point of the song, the band breaks into a Latin rhythm inspired bridge that’ll have even the stiffest of listeners dancing around the room.
The band also demonstrates a capability for tender moments, like in “How Do You Feel.” The whole construction of the song is pure bliss, with a gentle guitar washed in reverb answering the drum’s simple beat. Dalton croons on the chorus, asking “How do you feel?” The track also wins the sexiest guitar solo of the album, solidifying that guitarist Javi Reyes has attended the Josh Homme school for sexy guitar playing.
Not every song is a hit. “Private Shield” is more or less a bad cover of a Tame Impala song from the early 2010s. It still has some bright moments though. The guitars sound absolutely beautiful, and the stutter-step drum beat shows off drummer Wesley Toledo’s prowess behind the kit.
Another issue with the album as a whole is the production. Some portions sound cramped with sound, and there are no real dynamics of space to be found. The guitar mixing is excellent, but it would be nice to have more texture in the layering of each instrument so the listener doesn’t feel like each band member is standing in a single file line playing their part.
“Forward Motion Godyssey” is a damn fine album. The growth that all the members have undergone as musicians and people is evident on their latest offering. True to the title, the band looks to only be moving forward, creating their own musical odyssey.