Animal Kingdom‘s sophomore album, The Looking Away, released on May 20, 2012, finds the band treading on more fervent ground than they dared step on with their 2009 debut, Signs and Wonders.  While Signs and Wonders was the work of a band still in the process of defining its sound, attempting to balance multiple genres into a cohesive debut, The Looking Away finds Animal Kingdom perfecting that balance with a glowing aura of pop melodies that stay grounded with clamoring drums and momentous guitar riffs.  Richard Sauberlich’s range hasn’t faded with time as he is able to burst into shimmering falsettos that give the songs a sense of levity.  Like Signs, The Looking Away does not suffer from a lack of influences as hints of Radiohead’s dark insistence, Muse’s penchant for arena anthems and Coldplay’s sanguine emotional expectations all find a home amidst the album’s ten tracks.  However, instead of simply being a carbon copy of their inspirations, Animal Kingdom uses them as a foundation for which they’ve built their own identity, resulting in the vivid and aspiring The Looking Away.

Best Tracks:

Strange Attractor‘s plucky guitar chords persist throughout the song, keeping it light while the chorus finds Sauberlich reaching alarming vocal levels that seem to fade into the atmosphere.

The Wave starts off the album with onimous harmonies and methodical drums, giving the track a trancelike insistence which is further enforced by the lyrical repetition of one desolate line: “And it all got swept away.”

Get Away With It has a more visceral intro as reverberated guitars are grittily strummed, creating an industrialized tone as the falsettos add an eerie quality to the track.

When & Where:

There is no greater sin that listening to an album of a band you are seeing in concert that day.  The few hours before a show, you are in a state of musical euphoria, which is the perfect time to introduce new music.  The Looking Away is the album that should blast from your car, as the new sounds that feel somewhat familiar amps up your audible adrenaline.

Strange Attractor

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The Wave

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Get Away With It

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