Big Leaves' Animal Instinct -- released on the British Dell'Orso label -- finds this wonderful band from North Wales stretching out stylistically, focusing more intently on production and arrangements than it had on previous releases. The title track -- recorded along with three others at Rockfield Studios with Tim Lewis (aka Thighpaulsandra of Spiritualized) behind the boards -- is a sexy neo-glam-ish hip-shaking romp, with Rhodri Sion (sounding here like Gaz Coombes of Supergrass) on the prowl, growling and snarling out the lyrics. "Hang on to Your Halo" is a more sensitive Queen-like mid-tempo rocker, with pretty piano accents and sweet backing vocals. "Automatic" is another mid-tempo rocker, with self-effacing lyrics ("I'm a fool indeed, everyone will agree") and catchy hooks. "Nicole" is a guitar-less piano ballad that combines Brian Wilson-ish sentiments with an upbeat and sophisticated Brill Building-style arrangement (imagine a Carole King ballad sung by Paul McCartney during his early days with Wings).
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AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas