Often, I’d feel a certain degree of guilt for leaving it a month after the release date to review an album, but when the artist has left a 12-year gap between albums, I feel that maybe urgency isn’t the main priority.
Sometimes, it’s about timing, coincidence, and inspiration, and it was ‘a chance encounter with a dusty old hard drive - thought to have died years before’ which reignited The Electric Cinema’s desire to make music, and having discovered a stash of ideas, the band has spent the last two years evolving and honing the material that now appears as ‘Animals + Gods’.
They’ve received favourable comparisons to The Flaming Lips and Granddaddy and Mercury Rev – bands whose rather fay, whimsical indie stylings have failed to ignore my enthusiasm, with the latter being one of the most tedious festival acts I’ve ever endured. Quality of material helps no end, of course, and the songs on ‘Animals + Gods’ span a range of styles and moods.
It’s no criticism to observe that there’s a certain retro feel to the song, which straddle quintessential 90s indie and the post-punk revival of the early noughties – so a dash of early Interpol without the baritone vocal, for instance, but equally the likes of The Cinematics and The Organ and a slew of bands who never broke particularly big but achieved a certain cult status and represented a certain zeitgeist that proved to be comparatively short-lived, yet continues to throw come influence some fifteen years on.
If the music since the turn of the millennium has shown us anything, it’s that there is no longer a dominant culture, and any movement or wave – such as post-rock, for example – is an amalgamation of various preexisting genre forms. And there are hints of post-rock in the mix here, on an album that comfortably encompasses low-key, low-tempo introspective brooding and rather more buoyantly anthemic tunes, and it all adds up to a solid, varied, and enticing album.