Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hits: Built by Animals

April 5, 2011

Last year I fell in love with the perky, poppy sound of NYC’s Built by Animals. Their brand of hook-laden indie-rock could only come out of some NYC loft; it’s equal parts confident swagger, self-deprecating groan, guitar oomph and pop melodies. They do nothing to change the formula on their three-song EP “Summer of Shmiz.” Since these are only songs number 5-7 for our boys in Built by Animals, let’s give them a pass on “growth” for this one.

The vocals are a joy throughout, whether creaking, snarling, screaming or singing; there’s enough personality contained in them to power this whole EP. But they don’t have to shoulder the load, because the tom-heavy groove and acrobatic guitar work of “Animal Parade,”  the bass-heavy and spazzy-within-limits “Ellen Page,” and the whipsawing moods of “Red-Breasted Bastard; Or, The Feel Bad Hit of the Summer” all give good reasons for repeat listens.

I’d love to go to a Built by Animals show, ’cause I bet they’re just tons of fun. If they can back up their entertaining songs with any amount of showmanship, I know they are. If you like your rock with sunglasses at night and a bit of NYC cool, Built by Animals can be your fix. Rock.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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