Back in September, the third and final piece of what I think is an epic music experience was born into the world. I’m talking about the album, The Ocean and the Sun, by TSOAF (The Sound of Animals Fighting if you’re nasty).
If you’re not familiar, TSOAF is a project that was formed in 2004 by various members of the bands Circa Survive, Sunn O, RX Bandits, Finch, Atreyu, Never Heard of It, The Autumns, and Days Away. The core members though, are Anthony Green of Circa Survive, with RX Bandits members Chris Tsagakis on drums, Matt Embree on guitar and vocals, and Rich Balling (formerly of RX Bandits) on vocals as well. Rich was also the producer of all the works of TSOAF.
Throughout the bands existence, all the coming and going members (there are more than a dozen) have all had different names of animals attached to their own. On this album, Rich, Matt, Chris, and Anthony, have retained their names of The Nightingale, The Walrus, The Lynx, and The Skunk.
As far as the sound of the music; it’s been a little bit different on each of the three albums, with this one feeling to me like a mixture of Radiohead and The Mars Volta (if I can put it simply at all). What’s interesting is the huge difference between the singing styles of all three vocalists coming together, but still sounding amazing. The combo I found most noteworthy was in the song Blessing Be Yours Mister V at about 2:45. It marks the imminent breakdown in the latter part of the song, which is genius as soon as the beat turns completely digital (you’ll hear what I mean).
If we’re talking favorites here, I would easily say the track The Heraldic Break of the Manufacturers Medallion holds a place in my heart. I’m a sucker for the drum work of Chris Tsagakis, and the random strumming of Embree on guitar. Chris has mastered the art of the triple-bassing, and making you go back and count how many times he’s hitting the pedal. Also, I couldn’t help but feel hypnotized by Anthony Green’s strange hypnotic “Ahhhhhh” noise, after every chorus line “….drop your anchor down, and stay in place..” The echoing Green and drumming of Tsagakis close the song out strongly, while not being too abrupt.
Some people say that this type of music (this band specifically) is a fad. But I say nay. I think that in the case of this band, Green and company are smart, because they gave us something to cherish in their DVD from May 2007. This masterpiece, entitled We Must Become the Change We Want to See, is the final of the four (and only) shows the band performed. What I like about this concept, is that it really makes you appreciate the experience a little bit more. Although I only got to experience the DVD, at points I thought to myself “Wow, that has to be the shit, when Green said ‘This is the last time anyone will ever see this!’ to the crowd”. We, maybe not in that fruity sentence I wrote, but you get the idea. I won’t give away the juicy morsels of the DVD, but it’s worth the buy for sure. If you like live paintings and raving mad, leather clad girls, you’ll get a bonus.
I want to see people taking more of a chance in music. Playing it tame will only last so long. Do we have a revolution on our hands? Maybe so. Dare I say it, but I think we are on the road to having more innovative bands, perhaps the Pink Floyds of my 80's baby generation.
If you’re still not that interested by my review, then (piss off, and/or) give the new album a listen on their MySpace page (as the entire album was uploaded to it), and you can decide for yourself. I just think it would be good to break you out of your musical shell, and enjoy the artwork gone auditory, The Sound of Animals Fighting.
Until next time friends!