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Parc Avenue

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Album Review

Arising from the same musical tree as fellow Canadian Patrick Watson, Plants and Animals are a very sophisticated, arty group that meld a wide arrange of influences. The bombastic, orchestral opener "Bye Bye Bye" could be considered a melding of the Polyphonic Spree, Devendra Banhart, and the Beatles, but the band nails the song perfectly. Walking such a fine tightrope though for an entire album could be a mistake, so fortunately the group offers up a panoramic plate of styles, especially on the groovy, prog rock feel of "Good Friend" that recalls a mellower version of the Flaming Lips. The lone snag with the track might be how string-laced and rich it becomes to close. The first true taste of classic, hippie-tinged prog rock is "Faerie Dance," a slow, plodding track that might be the yin to Black Mountain's yang. The group are quite adept at changing moods, especially on the roots-riddled "Feedback in the Field" that sounds to be heavily influenced by early Neil Young. The record has a sizeable amount of drama or gravitas as well, evidenced by "A L'oree Des Bois," which changes into a rather ethereal effort three-quarters of the way in. One of the highlights here is the nearly eight-minute waltz-rock approach behind "New Kind of Love" which screams to be covered by the Arcade Fire. Probably the biggest disappointment is the messy "Mercy" which veers from a dance-driven Afro-beat format into some haunting guitar instrumental à la Explosions in the Sky. They more than atone for it with the majestic and regal "Keep It Real."


Formed: Montreal, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Montreal-based indie rock trio Plants and Animals formed in 2004 around the talents of Warren Spicer (guitar, vocals), Matthew Woodley (drums, percussion, vocals), and Nicolas Basque (guitar, bass, vocals). The band's genre-jumping sound blends rootsy, acoustic-heavy folk and country with elements of classic and progressive rock. Their self-titled debut was released in 2005, followed by another EP, With/Avec,...
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Parc Avenue, Plants and Animals
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