Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
(Tree of Tongues)
Crank this to 7.5 of 11
Alternative rock, Hardcore
Sounds Like:
Deftones, Linkin Park, Every Time I Die
Exotic Animal Petting Zoo are unique, they are the perfect example of why we never judge a band solely by the name. Our editor’s found various influences here; from the likes of The Mars Volta and Dillinger Escape Plan to Deftones and Norma Jean, even a hint of Linkin Park. Now you may be thinking, "there is no way they can pull this off", well they do, and it’s quite entertaining.

Their sound is a combination of distorted guitars, hardcore/punk rhythms and atmospheric sounds, as the vocals range from hardcore yells and screams to melodic fresh singing. First track, "Pharmakokinetic" starts with a quirky emotional singing/talking vocal pattern than dives quickly into a progressive/alternative song, showcasing the vocal styles we will hear throughout the album. "Thorough.Modern" is more hardcore until it gets to the 1:30 mark and takes a shift into a trippy, mid-tempo change of pace with powered echoed vocals. "Through the Thicket... Across Endless Mountains" has a transcendent sound that keeps growing and building as the song goes on, where we stumbled upon tambourines forming in the background. One of the many nice little touches thrown in throughout the album.

Mid-way through, EAPZ holds steady to their formula, with songs like "You Make Wonderful Pictures", "Apis Bull" and "The Great Explainer”, you get drawn into the album and realize there is a wealth of talent here.  "Kaspar Hauser Could See the Stars in the Daytime" tends to go back and forth from alternative to hardcore flawlessly and the vocals range from an impressive falsetto to punkish screams. "Whore of Babel" is convulsive, and tries on your patience, but being only 3:20 minutes, they know when to pull the plug. "Gypsy Among the Pines" and "M.U.M.B" are soft ambient tracks that add some welcome touches to the album.

Tree of Tongues ends with "Arcology", blending all the styles found throughout the album, culminating into a terrific ending. We are looking forward to their next release!

Standout Tracks:
Pharmakokinetic, Arcology
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