Animal Names - Oh Yes You Better Do (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Animal Names

Oh Yes You Better Do (2009)

Boat Dreams from the Hill

I think Vancouver's Animal Names like the Promise Ring. A lot. Whoever wrote AN's one-sheet (a band member?) admits the affection straight-up; the sound on this EP resembles a nod towards TPR's poppier, playful Nothing Feels Good era with liberal flourishes of the restraint and warmth of Wood/Water; and, well, the cover sure looks similar to Wood/Water's.

No matter. Oh Yes You Better Do is a strong enough collection of songs on its own with plenty unique flourishes to make its own mark. In fact, many times their lead male vocalist (Chris?) sounds closer to a mix of Davey v. and John Nolan circa the most bubbly and upbeat Straylight Run moments (some musical similarities even surface in "Crunk Crunk Croatia").. Instrumentally, there's a quirky, heavy jangle that propels the songs, other than a slower-cooked number like "My Friends for Mayor." But the loveable moments come when soft hooks and more 'umph' behind the vocals appear, like when the end of "Rolling Paper Airplane" digs in: "I know they're selling stamps / in your favourite shades of black / but come on, / when's the last time you caught me staring at you?" The female vocals, courtesy of Melissa, add a delightful counterpart to Chris (?), though, as does the sprinkling of piano and occasionally fractured guitar lines (see "Hyphy Hyphy Hawaii"), or the tasteful keyboards in "Crunk Crunk Croatia."

Oh Yes You Better Do is a very pleasurable EP with an alluring warmth about it. There's no real 'wow' moments, but it's consistent and cohesive and it's hard to ask for much more.

Rolling Paper Airplane
Frogs in 2010
My Friends for Mayor
Hyphy Hyphy Hawaii
Crunk Crunk Croatia