Pirra: Animal Kingdom

I’m not sure as to how well this served as a critique.

I do know that in reviewing this album my disdain for hype increased.

A lot of what was said in the blurb is usually something that comes in retrospect. Sometimes that isn’t the case, but it’s rare for such a thing to occur and it’s even more rare that it’s something for promotion to decide.

I think that captures what I’m trying to say.

I haven’t made any changes from how this appeared on Cool Try.

Now that that’s out of the way, time for the following:

My cohort and I are working on growing Culture Eater so we can have more things covered whilst taking the pressure of continually putting out content off of ourselves. Hence our going onto Patreon.

We’re looking at what we can give to supporters as we don’t want to set up a one way relationship, so suggestions are welcome.
Please consider supporting, or at least sharing the Patreon page with others.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

A few months ago Pirra released their first album, Animal Kingdom; an album that is described as dark in a somewhat dramatic description of the background behind the recording of the album that can be found on the Bandcamp page for the album.

Here’s a review.

Animal Kingdom is mostly a pop album. Instrumentation is light and airy with just enough breathing space. It is fairly restrained in sound. The mood seems to be more upbeat with most of this feeling as though it is designed to get people moving. Some parts are a bit more energetic than others and there seems to be a few different elements from different genres thrown in, but otherwise the album remains firmly within the realms of pop. Other than this, the songs all have a “psychedelic” atmosphere and are oozing the sort of coolness usually reserved for the sound that Pirra seem to have gone for with this album.

The band do sound like they play well together which does allow some parts to come through strongly, but most of what they play is a bit too familiar. There’s too much of a sense that this has been done before and whilst some of the curve-balls work as a nice surprise as usually these moments are the strongest parts of the album, there’s a bit too much restraint on letting them fully develop, instead keeping the focus of the playing on the “psychedelic” elements.

Most of the time the vocals are far more prominent than needed. There’s a power and confidence in them, but they feel as though they are sterile emulation of artists of the past rather than someone bringing out their own voice. At times the vocals become nigh-indecipherable due to the delivery, becoming distracting and detrimental to the songs.

The lyrics work well as a sound that is a part of the music, usually matching the flow of each song quite well. However, they feel as though they are too blunt and obvious whilst at the same time trying to be subtle and thought-provoking. There is a clear indication of potential in their development, but most of the time the potential feels squandered.

In the description of Animal Kingdom on Bandcamp, it is described as having “a psychedelic atmosphere and ironic humour” which “is countered by more sincere moments” and it is claimed that it is a unique album.

Animal Kingdom has the cool sound that is expected of this kind of music. It is not unique. It is not psychedelic. It lacks sincerity and only manages irony in a basic form at best. If this was written by the band, then all it does is reveal a pretentious nature drowning in hubris and does little to serve the album.

Animal Kingdom has moments that could be seen as genuinely good, but there aren’t enough of them to make this album one that will last.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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