Review: Ex Friends- “Animal Needs” EP

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Reviews

Animal Needs cover art

I expected the new band from former Plow United bassist Joel Tannenbaum to be a lot more obviously punk. But as the opener on Animal Needs “Don’t Do It Like That (Do it Like This)” kicks in with its bouncy harmonies and girl vocals, you hear something that is virtually power-pop. It reminds me quite a bit of a pretty unknown Franco-American band called Teenage Renegade. It has youthful vigour, a catchy, shout-y chorus and awesome lyrics about people imposing their ideas on others. The great thing about this ep is its varied nature. Following the poppy opener, “Real life” introduces a violin and a greater urgency, along with Joel’s pretty original, half-gruff-but-not-quite vocals. “Word Police” is one of the most straight-to-the point, and poppiest, fuck yous you will ever hear (there is virtually no excess in any of these barely half a minute songs). The final song is less overtly poppy and simplistic, and is when Ex-Friends unlock their inner Leatherface (albeit with much less distortion and girl harmony back-up vocals). Indeed, the band remind me a little of RVIVR, with their penchant for girl-boy vocals, catchy, shout-y choruses and that indie/pop-punk crossover sounds, but with much more fun and harmonies added in to boot. Building upon their first album released last year (Rules For Making Up Words), Animal Needs is short, sharp and to the point, mixing in a decent amount of ideas and sounds for a short 4 song EP. One to look out for.

Check it out: http://exfriends.bandcamp.com/album/animal-needs

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