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Why You Should Definitely Be Listening to Post Animal and a Breakdown of Their Debut LP, "When I Think of You in a Castle"

| 20/4/18 1:03pm

I first encountered the powerhouse of a Chicago psychedelic rock band known as Post Animal when they opened for Twin Peaks last May in the back room of Cat's Cradle, Chapel Hill's most-beloved music venue. As soon as their set started, I was struck by their dynamism, their larger-than-life stage persona— for being the first act on the bill, they played with as much spirit and potency as any headliner would. When their set ended, I had officially found a new favorite band.

If this is the first time you're hearing of Post Animal, let this be your introduction. Formed in Chicago, Post Animal has been stoically carving out their own unique space in the psych-rock scene since 2014. They often garner comparisons to Tame Impala and The Beatles' more psychedelic phase, but their sound is forward-thinking and fresh. The band self-released a debut EP entitled "Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities" in 2015 followed by a singles collection entitled "The Garden Series" in 2016. Actor Joe Keery, who you may know as Steve Harrington on the Netflix series Stranger Things, is a contributing member, but no longer tours with the band due to his acting commitments. The band has toured with The Nude Party, Wavves, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Twin Peaks, and White Reaper, and signed with Polyvinyl Records in 2017.

Post Animal's debut LP, "When I Think of You in a Castle" drops today, and because I am completely obsessed with them, I decided to write a track by track breakdown of each song. A true home-run of a debut album, "When I Think of You in a Castle" is a remarkable blend of gritty guitars, synths, and sun-drenched melodies. I implore you to give it a listen.

1. Everywhere All At Once

This instrumental opening track sets the scene with a lilting guitar melody and sampled rain sounds (trust me, it works) that make way for the rest of this dynamic album.

2. Gelatin Mode

Loud, raucous, and a total jam, the second track seamlessly follows the instrumental opener and kicks off a string of the three singles from the album. Make sure you watch the super weird music video for it. 

3. Tire Eyes

A real head-banger, the album's third single sneaks up on you with its tight guitar arrangements and trippy breakdown.

4. Ralphie

"Ralphie" was released as the first single when the album was initially announced. With its punchy chorus and saccharine lyrics, this is definitely the bounciest of all the tracks on the album, and it's fun as hell to vibe to.

5. Heart Made of Metal

This track, which borders on rock ballad, is perhaps the most disappointing track of the record, yet it's still got some fun riffs and a very Dracularian hook. It also gets nice and loud towards the end. Every album needs its dark horse, I suppose.

6. The Castle

The album's almost-titular track harkens back to psychedelic surf rock of the 60s (think, like, when The Beach Boys got weird) and some of the band's earlier songs, such as "Goggles" and "Alabaster." It's definitely the most Tame Impala circa "Innerspeaker" sounding track on this record, but it provides the peace of an instrumental break before the poppier "Special Moment."

7. Special Moment

The danciest of all the songs on WITOYIAC, "Special Moment" absolutely slaps, and I don't throw that word around lightly. There is much more emphasis on the vocals here, the bassline is simplistic yet catchy, and the track has a killer guitar solo. Definitely a standout.

8. Victory Lap: Danger Zone

This track truly lives up to its kickass name, and with its distorted vocals and obnoxious guitar riffs, it could definitely kick off a monster truck rally. If I were a pro-wrestler, this would be my walk-up song.

9. One Thing

With a haunting melody and crazy synths (what more could you want?), this song is the late-coming gem of the album. So beautifully arranged, it'll make you want to float off into space.

10. Dirtpicker

The penultimate song on the album is a frenzied cacophony of crazy keyboards, a heartrending drum beat, and dizzying guitar riffs that just don't quit. Post Animal masterfully executes an Irish Goodbye on this track that will definitely leave you wanting more.

11. Susie (Bonus)

And you'd be in luck because the album has a bonus track! "Susie" comes as a nice little surprise at the end of this record, and serves as the album's sunshiney sing-along with a groovy piano riff and vocals from the entire band.

Post Animal plays Union Stage on June 2nd. You should go see them.