Two years after releasing Pink Noise, a rather enjoyable album heavy on disco undertones and with no shortness of funk, The Gods Themselves have released Be My Animal. The same elements, guitar, bass, and drums, are all present but the sound is clearly different. The disco dance floor nostalgia of the late 70s and early 80s seems to have faded and been replaced by a new wave art pop sound reminiscent of the Talking Heads.
Be My Animal starts the album off by setting the tone for the rest of the tracks to come. In this track, the motif of the album which can be described as sound influenced by punk and lyrics influenced by rebellious tendency and angst, are well demonstrated. The next track, “Tech Boys,” is possibly the most reminiscent of the Talking Heads on the entire album and one of my favorites as it is closer in sound to Pink Noise than most the tracks on Be My Animal. If you haven’t caught on yet, it’s worth mentioning that I’m with the new wave disco sound, I just enjoy those melodies more than others.
“So Hot,” “Speak in Tongues,” and “Cool” are somewhat similar to what fans of Pink Noise were used to hearing but still experimental in sound and definitely influenced by punk rock. “St. Mary” and “Love” round out my top three and I would definitely urge you to listen to these tracks and Tech Boys if nothing else on the album. I found “Dance With Me” thoroughly enjoyable and Alone a little to experimental in sound for my tastes.
I rate this album 7.2/10. I’m rating it closer to 7 than 8 simply because I found these a mildly disappointing follow up to Pink Noise. Perhaps I’m simply more critical because I can’t move on from Pink Noise. This should not keep you from giving Be My Animal a listen as there is great merit to some of the experimentation done by The Gods Themselves in this album. The band successfully melded disco undertones, punk influence, and art pop into a pleasant new wave sound and it’s definitely worth a listen. In all likelihood, many of you will probably enjoy the album more than I did as I am somewhat set in my musical tastes.
By: David Dougherty