For those unfamiliar with Post Animal, 'the band of brothers' first bonded over their love of big riffs, pop hooks, and psychedelic tendencies in Chicago back in 2014. Since then they have signed a massive record deal with Polyvinyl thanks to the success of their debut EP (Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities) and they are currently making huge waves in America.
Their debut album, When I Think of You in a Castle, has been praised for its seamless blend of power-pop and psychedelic rock. Take their most recent single Ralphie, a psychedelic pop ditty littered with anthemic riffs and the band's signature layered vocals. In my opinion, you'll be hard-pressed to find a pop record with more musical depth and uniqueness than this one. Travelling to the Isle of Wight as part of their European tour, I had the opportunity to watch their set at Ventnor Fringe...
Post Animal may well be the perfect early-evening live band. Their wonderful psychedelic-rock tunes were made to be listened to whilst pre-drinking in the sun, and drummer Wes Toledo plays the kind of pounding drum grooves that could motivate even the most cynical of listeners to dance. It's no wonder that their European tour in July involved a Saturday early-evening (7:00 pm - 9:00 pm) show just like this, that included free-spirited IPA drinkers and cheeky teens for attendees.
The band bounded onto the stage with Gelatin Mode from their most recent LP, which was released last year and has been critically acclaimed. While the song does feature some signature psychedelic elements, it is obvious that the sludgy riffs are Black Sabbath influenced. It's to be expected, considering that the Chicago Tribune has described the band's sound as "if Tame Impala listened to a lot of Black Sabbath and were signed to Elephant 6."
Post Animal then dived into an assortment of tracks from across their impressive discography, including Special Moment, Victory Lap: Danger Zone and the previously aforementioned Ralphie. Upon finishing fan-favourite Goggles, the band paused for a short discussion on the topic of the uniquely beautiful setting of Ventnor harbour. This wouldn't be the last instance of crowd interaction for the night. Later on, guitarist Matt Williams asked the crowd "we have absolutely loved our time here, would you have us back?" Energised by the band's fantastic performance, the crowd broke out into a unanimous "yes."
The band then turned to one of the most entertaining parts of their live performances: they begin to jam. It's an absolute joy to watch five musicians so in tune with each other, knowing that they can pull off just about any musical shift in direction. Williams then closed the show by explaining the band's enjoyment for their first European tour before launching into the frantic Dirtpicker.
Whether despatching the weaving guitar lines on Dirtpicker or brilliantly interacting with the audience, this was a crowd-pleasing performance from a band still on the rise. During their first European tour, Post Animal have proven why many consider them to be the next great band to come out of Chicago!
You can listen to Post Animal via Bandcamp at https://postanimal.bandcamp.com/
George Miles – Follow me on Twitter @GeorgeMiles6