Il faut, chaque année, que je regrette de ne pas avoir mis la main sur un album plus tôt, parce qu’il aurait mérité d’être intégré dans le best of des meilleurs LPs. C’est, pour 2015, Post Animal qui s’impose comme le candidat idéal. Et pour cause, je ne peux m’empêcher de penser que Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities est l’album qu’aurait dû publier Tame Impala, le troisième, pour que le trio soit complet. Mais il n’est jamais trop tard pour chroniquer un album qui fera date, n’est-ce pas ?
Au final, il faut du temps pour digérer ce que Post Animal nous propose là : l’un (si ce n’est “le”) des tous meilleurs albums de rock psychédélique depuis Lonerism (si tant est qu’on ne qualifie pas ce dernier comme étant entièrement pop), un statement à ne pas prendre à la légère, j’en ai bien conscience. Seul King Gizzard évolue dans les mêmes sphères en 2016. Confiez la production d’un album de Post Animal à l’un des plus grands noms et vous aurez l’un un véritable chef d’œuvre psychédélique, c’est chose certaine. Donnez le tout à un label de renom et vous aurez la prochaine star du genre, leader du Austin Psych Festival. Mais d’ici là, tachons de diffuser le mot : Post Animal est déjà immense.
Each year, I have some regrets of not having found one album sooner, because it deserved to be integrated into our ranking of the best LPs. Post Animal is that band for 2015. Because I cannot help but think that Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities is the third album Tame Impala should have published, I say that it is never too late to review a masterpiece, isn’t it?
Post Animal is a Chicago native band which released his first album on October 2015. It follows a very good EP, Like A Babe In The Woods, published during the summer of 2014. But this time, the band just tickles the Olympus of psych music. So I had to know who they are. I asked them few questions and was almost shocked to realize the band didn’t know (by far) how big is what they’ve just done. Without any help from any label, without any help from anyone except 708 Facebook followers (proof), he has published one of the very best LP of psychedelic music of the last few months (and more). As he told me, each song tells its own story. “Our LP doesn’t necessary have any specific subject that we thought about. The real concept of it is that each song might have its own story“. Let’s try, together, to plunge into these most curious water activities.
The album is introduced by “Goggles” where the softness of the first guitar chords is hiding an explosive musical score. Yes, this is one of the adjectives that describe best the music of Post Animal, explosive. Its final is reminiscent, a reminder of Beard, Wives, Denim. “Aral Sea“, for its part, has a bigger pop intention. More rhythmic, more oriental too, it is one of those pieces from the family of Lonerism. We quickly realize the power of that drum and, once again, Post Animal reaches his highest peaks when he allows himself to be even more psychedelic. This is precisely what happens at 2min50.
“Alabaster” is more of a mix between the Growlers and White Fence. As any good psychedelic patchwork, it gives rock’n’roll the grandiosity it sometimes need. This is precisely what psychedelic music asks for, infinite jams, something loud, very loud and innovative. At the border between pop and rock music, “Alabaster” has already confirmed what we first thought: Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities is brilliant, flawless. As for “Eel“, it perpetuates the musical movement initiated by Tame Impala. What a knock down! The voice of Dalton Allison plunges us into a world worthy of Frank Herbert. Maybe, at the end, this track is the one I prefer. Maybe it best illustrates how big of a thunderclap this LP is.
The sound of the guitar is very raw on “Swamp Fruit“, to the delight of our ears always eager for variations. This is one of the other strengths of that LP, its ability to always surprise us. Then again, the last third is a true sensation, a classic to teach in every school of psychedelic music. Who said that stonegaze and seventies psych music could not be married?
We approach the ending with “A Whale’s Tale“. More jazzy, it let us see a new face of Post Animal, equally disruptive. The band composed his album through several periods, one of the reasons that explain the diversity of his sound. Entirely instrumental, this track accompanies us, with poetry, in some space-time where the big names of psychedelic rock of the ’60s would have defeated the other scenes. “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control” has its little brother. Lastly, “Hoverin ‘All Night” has the difficult task of ending this LP. It shows, for the last time, what Tame Impala has failed to create with his disastrous Currents. Yes, the will of creating good pop music does not necessarily come with the approval of the “radio system” that imposes to integrate ten choruses in each track in order to destroy the brains of listeners. This last track also shows us that the instrumental part can remain just as rich and creative, even with true pop music. At 2min10, a long journey begins that ultimately takes our breath away. Just listen.
At the end of the day, Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities is precisely the third album that Tame Impala should have done because it integrates both the mechanical side of the first while maintaining the heavy pop spirit of the second one. The sound of Post Animal is very raw, it has the power that Kevin Parker was looking for. It shows a true desire to produce something heavy and the band is very realistic on the result: “we find a lot of influence from artists who produce music that might be a little heavier or different than mainstream music, but we also love to mix heavy with pop melodies. I’d say there’s definitely a good mix of psych-rock and heavy pop bands today that are making incredible music, and it’s great to try and create in that realm of music“. This is also what gives Post Animal his own identity, the keystone that will quickly make him a singular reference.
It takes time to digest what Post Animal offers us: one (if not “the”) of the best psychedelic rock LPs since Lonerism, a statement not to be taken lightly, I know that. Only King Gizzard evolves in the same areas in 2016. But give the producing of the new Post Animal to one of the biggest names and you’ll have one-of-a-kind masterpiece of psychedelic music. Lend it to a good label and you’ll get the next big name of the entire scene, the leader of the Austin Psych Festival. But until then, let us spread the word: what Post Animal just did is already huge.
When I asked the band about his near future, he told me that he is working on few releases for 2016. “We’re probably looking at mid-to-late summer for the next record release, but we’re very excited about the upcoming series of smaller releases in the next month or two“. What better way to start 2016? And this time, Still in Rock will not miss the call. I even take the bet that many of us will glorify the band. How many are there, especially in the world of psychedelic music, to have understood Lester Bangs’ contribution of what is rock music, an art form not to be taken seriously? Evidently, very few, as Tame Impala just shown. Conversely, Post Animal told me that “Water Activities wasn’t meant to be taken literally or all that seriously, but we had a fun time with it“.