Animals As Leaders are one of those prog groups that run hot and cold to me with some tracks being my all-time favourites and others being difficult to listen to. For example tracks like ‘The Woven Web’ and ‘Physical Education’ are killer progressive tunes that balance aggressiveness with new-age jazz sections that are masterpieces of modern music. But then there are also tracks like ‘Cafo’ which I find are particularly difficult to even listen due to the lack of substance in the track. So with a new album around the corner, how did their most recent single shape up?
Well personally, this track had me enchanted. I didn’t expect an acoustic-based track to be their first single but they took the risk and golly did that bad boy pay off. The acoustic progressions are gorgeous and the intricate, classical guitar picking is awe-inspiring. The instrumental harmonies on this track are some of the most polished I’ve ever heard from Animals As Leaders and they are almost CHON-like with a really strong jazz fusion backbone to them. The drums are more controlled than frenetic with the beat this time round; rich with musicality but more importantly cohesion. From section to section I felt myself grasped as the song elevated higher and higher into new realms for the trio; it was highly inventive and carried a lot of artist expression. There are some rough niggles in this track though with the occasional note being buzzed or missed which from a guitarists perspective was actually quite noticeable. Other than those little blips however, the track is an absolute delight to listen to and much less mechanical than what Animals As Leaders were beginning to be known for.
8/10 – Cannot wait for the rest of the album to drop after listening to this sweet track.