Tamer Animals - TBD
FILTER Grade: 89%
By Laura Studarus on May 17, 2011
Tamer Animals contains an embarrassment of riches. It would be easy to simply line up the adjectives and let them roll in. Lush. Ambitious. Moody. But the truth is, Other Lives have managed to pull off a feat more remarkable than releasing a few engaging tunes—they’ve created an album. A dark mediation on man’s relationship with beasts, Tamer Animals highlights the band’s ability to skirt precious by painting with the dark hues of cello, bassoon, piano, guitar and Jesse Tabish’s Lennon-by-way-of-Wainwright vocals. Opener “Dark Horse” is punctuated with a distant choir of horns and hoof-like percussion—but don’t let the odd highlight fool you: despite each song’s meticulous layers, nothing is done in excess. Even when appropriating Americana in “Dust Bowl III,” the effect is created through a twist of existing elements rather than piling on additional elements and folky artifice. A study in subtly, Tamer Animals proves that more of less isn’t just memorable—it’s damn near magical.