While their outlandish moniker isn’t likely to do them any favors, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo are none the less an outfit deserving of attention. Boisterous He Is Legend & Poison The Well-styled emotive post-hardcore is the order of the day. As “Tree Of Tongues” is stacked with heartfelt melodic croons and spasmodic noisy outbursts.
Remaining bizarrely accessible through a careening series of genre-shifting twists and turns; this outfit possess a youthful zeal similar to that of Look What I Did. Thusly the band ply their trade with ample amounts of energy and reactive emotion.
When not tunefully crooning, the raw nerve bluntness of their intensity can mirror that of Century. However, the adept musicianship funnels in shimmering atmosphere, layering intriguingly spacey interplay overtop calming sonic blurs.
The weirdo metal tendencies that previously characterized the outfit still firmly have their hands on the wheel. But there’s generally a strong enough melodic pull at the core of the songs to keep them from sprawling all over the place.
That said, there are missteps, chiefly the momentum breaking “M.U.M.B.“. A meandering interlude that brings the album to a dead lull around halfway through. Tunnel vision can also begin to set in as the group get a bit too comfortable with their songwriting at times.
If that’s not enough, the whole quirky rewiring of He Is Legend may rub a few people the wrong way as well. But as it stands “Tree Of Tongues” not only represents an impressive amount of growth. It showcases some solid roots they can hopefully expand upon in the future as well.
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