Horribly named jam band seeking summer cookout gigs
If surfer-songwriter Jack Johnson was throwing a party, chances
are the Animal Liberation Orchestra would be on the guest list.
With their easygoing vibe and breezy melodies, this California jam
band rolls Jack Johnson, Phish, and Los Lonely Boys
into a phat one and smokes it over a summer barbeque.
On [their] fourth album Fly Between Falls, the San Francisco
quartet is as carefree as ever, but their airy, Latin-flavored sonics
can belie relatively weighty topics. "Barbecue" is a backyard
roast about drinking to broken dreams, "Spectrum" covers
marital disputes, and "Possibly Drown" loosely issues a
warning about the dangers of a deceptive canal. And then there's "Waiting
For Jaden", a sweet song with a train-beat shuffle that chronicles
the birth of lead singer Zach Gill's daughter. It also highlights
the humor in Gill's all-too-open songwriting: "We wanted to have
her naturally/So we searched out all possible remedies/Hot sex, nipple
stimulation, Castor oil, gory movies."
Aurally, Gill's voice is a hybrid of Uncle Kracker and Los
Lonely Boys' Henry Garza. ALO is also heavily under the influence
of Phish, as guitarist Dan Lebowitz plays with the same clean
guitar levity and feel-good arpeggios that make him a true Trey
Anastasio protégé. And like Phish, there's also
protean piano jams and other turns at the microphone that result in
odd 'n' trippy tunes like "The Gardener".
The Animal Liberation Orchestra is one of the worst band names next
to Hoobastank, but ALO's offbeat songwriting and happy-go-lucky
attitude redeem their ill-advised name. Don't expect to hear an actual
So take another sip of your Corona, put on the blindfold, and swing
hard at that piñata. The Animal Liberation Orchestra should
be welcome at your barbeque.
Standout Tracks: "Fly", "Wasting Time (Isla Vista
02 Possibly Drown
04 Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down
07 The Gardener
08 Waiting for Jaden
10 Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song)
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