Call It Arson - The Animal Strings Album (Cover Artwork)

Call It Arson

The Animal Strings Album (2006)

Kill Normal

Upon first glance of the latest Call It Arson record, I was expecting something very heavy and in-your-face based on the packaging. I was very suprised to find a lot of acoustic instrumentation and a very strong singing voice in James Downe.

The first track of The Animal Strings Album, "Eliza" is a soothing acoustic number with James and the rest of the band singing over top some strumming. The album also closes with a semi-acoustic number called "Hoopin & Humpin," too. I enjoyed the intrumentation of this last song, but couldn't help but get the feeling that the lyrics didn't match up so well to what I was hearing musically.

Between the first and last track, Call It Arson plug in their instruments with varying degrees of success. The second track, "The Unimaginable Superstate" just doesn't work for me. Again, the lyrics feel out of place as do the background organs. My favorite of the tracks where Call It Arson goes electric is "Places." The song hits all the right marks and clocking in at over six minutes has some nice changes in it midway through.

Overall I like this album, although I feel at times the lyrical content doesn't reflect the musical content, or vice versa. James Downes however, has a very strong voice. I would like to see Call It Arson focus more on their softer/acoustic elements as that seems to be where they excel the most on this album.