By Tommy Super
Brooklyn’s Animal Years may end up being one of the hottest new bands of 2014. With high praise from downtown magazine, filter magazine, sonic eclectic and the deli magazine alike, it is obvious that this indie rock group is the center of attention for music connoisseurs across the nation. Their debut album, Sun Will Rise, is set to release on iTunes May 6th of this year. With the raw energy on this LP, is it no surprise that these guys have been receiving such acclaim from critics and magazine publishers alike.
This group consists of lead vocalist, guitarist and banjo player, Mike McFadden, bassist Anthony Saladino, keyboardist Kevin Johnson, guitarist Matt Indellicati, and drummer Anthony Spinnato. According to their Facebook page, Animal Years’ influences range from alternative rock groups like Kings of Leon and Young the Giant to the eclectic folk rock melodies of The Avett Brothers. These influences come out in Animal Year’s roots rock sound, as they implement a variety of instruments and styles in their music.
The album begins with a punch, with the opening track, “Meet Me.” With a strong drumbeat and bright guitar riffs, this track develops an ambitious tone. As the song builds with faster paced instrumentation, the strong emotional intentions for this track are obvious as well. Lyrically, this track is rather vague, as the singer ponders on “meeting” his unidentified love interest “at the station.” At first listen, the song comes off as upbeat, and positive; however, the feelings of loneliness and longing for his love interest show the nostalgia and sentiment of this track.
The third track, “Rapture,” demonstrates Animal Year’s musical depth, as they transition from upbeat alternative rock to a more romantic, slower paced sound. The vocals are strong as well, as McFadden sings in a soulful, passionate tone about the girl who “says she never loved [him].” Their Kings of Leon influence is very clear on this song as well.
The following song, “Let Go Of Your Head,” has a very summery, cheerful feel, with the easygoing background vocals and the light and memorable opening guitar riff. This may be the most radio friendly track on the album, with its consistent lighthearted, fast tempo. This is a fun, easy listen, with little melodic and instrumental variety.
The album title track, “Sun Will Rise,” may be the most memorable moment on this entire album, as it allows the listener to better understand McFadden’s message. Lyrically, this track is simple yet effective, as McFadden draws connections between his feelings and the seasons. The themes from previous songs of lost romance and personal struggles are evident on this track as well. Despite his feelings of longing, McFadden demonstrates his positive outlook on the future as he claims the sun will rise- a somewhat cliché, yet memorable phrase.
Overall, Animal Years fits in well with the radio friendly alternative rock genre. Their vocals and melodies are strong enough to stand out as a feel good, summer rock band; however, their generic lyrics and predictable sound may be a little too unoriginal to receive the same acclaim as other bands in this genre.
Even still, their catchy, upbeat style may be enough to please radio listeners. Do not be surprised to see these guys on the ITunes top 10 charts in the coming months.