Local Music Reviews
No Such Animal
No Such Animal = Husker Du + Stone Temple Pilots + Baroness
No Such Animal has kept track of the musical treasures they’ve collected from the past as they move like a wrecking ball into the future. With hints of late ’80s hard-rock reinvention, ’90s aggressive progressiveness and the early ’00s power-pop walls of sound and sweeping choruses, everything is on display on the Orem-based band’s fantastic new album, The Entertainer.
It’s likely that all of my observations are just reflections of unintentional nostalgia, but after listening to The Entertainer, it’s obvious that No Such Animal has absorbed a lot of records. They represent just the right amount of familiarity to hook you in. Finn Morrison (frontman, vocals), Max Miller (drums, vocals), Seth Jensen (bass), Cole Harris (guitar) and Ella Morrison (keys) stretch the boundaries of their collective music obsession into something beautifully recognizable and new at the same time. The band hums and vibrates like a busy, bustling beehive representing the state of Utah and giving voice to the unsettled, lost and disenchanted.
“Twisting fate, she reads it in the stars / Makes madness in a bottle, yet her friends are more bizarre,” Morrison sings on the standout track, “Witches in Salt Lake City.” “Laying low, they know I want to leave / So they whisper to the crystals, manifest my misery / Nails that cut and eyes so bright, crystals, cards and candlelight / How could I have overlooked the signs? / The witches in the city, yeah they come out every night.” I want to meet these ladies! It makes me happy that these witches are haunting our city.
The track “New American Cyborg” is a bluesy, swampy-romp that shakes dust off the floorboards, “Mr Spaceman” is a modern Moonage Daydream and “On My Own” is an alienation anthem for the forgotten and lonely. “And all the things I knew before crumble as I close the door,” Morrison sings. “When nothing’s left to call home, here I go once again on my own.” The devil is in the details, and beauty exists there, too. No Such Animal pushes me to that same place—hey will push you there as well.
I hope the band continues to create familiar things their own and things slightly-similar-sounding unlike anything else around. No Such Animal, raised on Utah dirt, is ready to take The Entertainer nationwide. Support local artists! Support this band! –Russ Holsten