Animal Cloud, the Hotel Café, August 10, 2013
From the shattered remains of The Glass Plastiks arises a Noah’s Ark of strange and wondrous indie rock known as Animal Cloud. Playing their debut performance in front of a packed house at the Hotel Café, the humans creatures who pieced together the instruments onstage left for a few minutes, and then returning were a rabbit, a fox, and a zebra – all representations of the captivating performance that was about to commence. Opening with the vibrant yet ominous strains of Animal, the primal instincts of the band took over, and what a feast for the eyes and ears it was!
Complete with eerie masks and dressed in exterminator suits with reflective tape that would wreak havoc on my camera when flash was involved, the mystical pop rocking music and stunning visuals proceeded to take the audience far above the intimacy of the Hotel Café. Trevor Lissauer was the zebra on lead vocalist, guitar and keyboards, his mask and neck covered with stripes as he commanded the stage with boundless yet shadowy enthusiasm. Bassist Chris Magnee looked absolutely chilling as the tall rabbit, sending the room pulsating with his rhythmic ingenuity. And then there was Keith Tenenbaum as the fox on the lit up drum kit, unleashing powerful and quirky beats with a skilled precision. We have not Slipknot or Kiss on our hands, but an imaginative force of nature that may or may not be compared to the likes of Sigur Ros and Radiohead. Animal Cloud is their own definitive musical beast, and they roar with a sonic creativity that is electrifying.
One of the highlight songs of the set was the moody inflections of Fools, instantly memorable and haunting all at once with the playful yet somewhat menacing keyboards and Lissauer’s ironic delivery of the acerbic lyrics. The final song False Hope also left a lingering impression with is spacey sentiments of “fear and loathing” that reverberated throughout the Hotel Café. The female robot narrative in between songs was clever and inventive, complete with the reassurance to the audience of “We like you” spun in for good measure. A vastly entertaining show from a band’s whose infectious songs and compelling visuals will linger within you long after you depart from the venue. Be sure to check out Animal Cloud they next time they inhabit a club near you. Their Self-Titled debut EP is available now on ITunes and CD Baby!
(Review and Photo by Kenneth Morton)
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