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Black Soul Strangers – Animate

April 24, 2010 by  

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Black Soul Strangers – Animate

NAME: Black Soul Strangers
ALBUM: Animate
YEAR: 2010 (July 5th)
LABEL: Squeek Records

FIVE WORD REVIEW: Magnificent debut kisses and punches

LOCATION: London, UK/Dublin, Ireland

LINE UP: Barry Gorey / Brendan O’Mahony / James O’Brien / Philip Justin Wyer

WHAT’S THE STORY?: Hotly tipped to be stupidly popular, Black Soul Strangers must have been feeling the pressure to create a debut that encapsulated their blistering live sets but still included their tender, gorgeous side as well… And strike a light, they’ve only gone and bloomin’ done it. ‘Animate’ is such a bold and striking statement of intent, from the punchy opener ‘Panic Sets Direction’ the band showcase their range musically and lyrically throughout the album. It’s constantly surprising the listener with unexpected surges and lulls, like a shoreline of unknown depth or ferocity. Imaginative and lively ‘Gallows’ is a live favourite done justice in the studio, and ‘You Don’t Need It’ starts s filler but reaches a searing climax that leaves you wanting more. The whole thing is utterly unfoppish – they’re a band with something to say, and do it without whining, like so many other bands. You know who you are.
With so many highlights, it’s hard to pick a standout track, so I’ll plump for the final cut ‘Harp’, which sums up this band: a touchingly simple track, that rouses itself into a cacophonous finale which simply leaves you stunned. A beautifully burning beacon of joy, Black Soul Strangers have shown that they demand attention.

SOUNDS LIKE: the sound of success. ‘Animate’ is a rock album that knows when to whisper, and may mark a welcome fork in the road of British music.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF YOU LIKE: listening to one of the best new bands around.

LINKS: Official Website // MySpace

– Owen Williams



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