It is common for bands to absorb their musical influences as part of the process of defining their own sound yet many bands never bother to complete the process and remain resolutely stuck in the past. Belgian band Animal Youth are certainly guilty of holding on to the past yet they still show signs of reaching escape velocity with their album “Animal”.
There are no surprises in that most of this album revolves, in currently fashionable musical terms, around the late eighties with Guy Tournay making a convincing stab at emulating the proto shoegaze vocal style born of that period in time. So, if your tastes coincide with this, this may well be just what your ears desire. However, despite the revisionist tendencies of the modern day music business, this probably won’t be enough to get this band into commercial gear and it takes the an examination of the more oblique songs like “In Heaven” and “Eat You Alive” to find a hint of an evolving unique identity.
There isn’t anything to really dislike about “Animal” but, equally, most of this album could have fallen out of a time warp with only the two previously mentioned songs indicating a path that an imaginative band might care to follow.