Animal House – Live – The Hope and Ruin, 9/12/2015

The Grim Reaper looms over Animal House’s current residency upon the blustery shores of Brighton. With a retreat back to Australia penciled in, there is only so long that we have left with this group at the moment. We may have the Ashes from the cricket but Australia go one-up on music. In honour of their leaving, bodies bumble around a busy Hope and Ruin and guitars splutter on stage as the musical quintet Blue Spectre take us through their math rock instrumental. Demonstrating exquisite talent and musicianship, the band delve into a cascade of intricacy that show what a brilliant sound they can make. It comes at you like a Franz Ferdinand punch up with Drive Like Jehu. It is rare that I find a support band that have such a pull, however I find myself leering at the front, completely under the thumb of this band. As nights go, Animal House had picked a busy night to play on, down the road at Green Door Store the rising garage-rockers Our Girl were throwing a single launch party which could have challenged what Animal House had lined up. However, it appears that nothing was going to put itself in the way of Animal House’s Eviction Party.

Animal House transpired onstage around 10pm and from then on, it became an entourage of everything you loved about mid-00s indie rock. Debuting a fitting testament to Brighton, the night was full of the occasional twists and turns in the setlist. The melancholic tenderness between riffs was evident through earlier tracks in the setlist, these were fitting numbers within the anthems. They demonstrated a delicacy that Animal House can bring, it is not all about the shaking rock’n’roll anthems, it showed that Animal House are not simply a one trick pony but can write for an audience and think dynamically. It gave you a chance to catch your breath and hold it. It is rare that you see bands that have such a fantastic knack of putting together such perfectly crafted anthems. Songs such as ‘English Girls’ lean upon the eccentric pace and presence of The Vaccines. ‘Figure It Out’ possesses the beat and bounce of early Kings of Leon, a song with such vigorous power it doesn’t just make you weak at the knees but leaves your kneecaps in crumbles as your legs collapse around them. One of the most protuberant factors about Animal House is in the delivery of vocals. The melodies are second to none and sung at such a volume – largely down to the delivery through all three vocalists – that you cannot help but feel engulfed within the music.

The crowd was equally as energetic and charismatic in the reception of the songs. There was something largely romantic in the leaving show, it added an emotion to the show that is seldom witnessed anymore. The bond between the characters onstage is something of a true fraternity. Dragging yourselves halfway across the globe to arrive on foreign shores carries an exceptionally charming and endearing element with it.

So that was Animal House and that was the closing page in this chapter of their bright careers within the field of music. It is hoped they return and arrive back in Brighton, they gave us their word and we can only hope for it to come true. Brighton will miss them and their light-hearted, tongue in cheek take on music, something that is refreshing in the oh-so-serious music scene that sometimes bleeds through.

Words by Tom Churchill

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