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,” ┬áthe 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.

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

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