A Surefire Way To Get Sober

The Animal Steel

Snappy Little Numbers Records, 2021


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Animal Steel are four dads from Denver who play a curious brand of post-hardcore that will also apply to the emo crowd and even aging punks. This debut, which was recorded before the pandemic hit, may not motivate you to eat the stuffing out of a turnbuckle, but it certainly will get you moving in some capacity.

“Emergencies Enter Here” starts the listen hard hitting but still very tuneful as dual vocals are met with thumping drums and swirling guitars. An introduction that's difficult to categorize, there's certainly some post-punk to be found, but also some bits of late '90s emo-rock and even modern day indie rock spirit, too.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Things get even better from here, with the punchy and harmonic grit of “Cold Atlantic Deep,” which you'll be singing along to immediately, as well as the slower and powerful “Transmission,” which builds into an ebullient rocker towards the end.

The title track and “Holiday Heart” finish out Side A, where the former is a raw and precise display of melodic and gruff punk, and the latter is both dance floor and pit friendly, and emits both a cautious and lively formula.

Side B is just four tunes, and they're all great. “Unhappy Hour At The Dude Ranch” leads with the complicated rhythm section booming amid the angular guitars and strong vocal work, while “Redemption Cadence” flows and sways with a sort of Bob Nanna feel (Braid, Friction, Hey Mercedes), which could never be a bad thing.

The final two tracks bring us the dense and charged “Dark Times” and the cleverly titled “There Is No Dana, Only Zuul,” where a more throaty presence points towards bands like Small Brown Bike or Hot Water Music, while the music shifts from textured and anthemic to restrained.

The Animal Steel is Josh Friedman (guitar, vocals), Luis Gorostiaga (guitar, vocals), Gene Martinez (bass) and Danny McCarthy (drums). They sure did make a hell of a first album here, and it's one that's certainly as memorable as George 'The Animal' Steele entering the arena in his heyday. 

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2021 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Snappy Little Numbers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.