Erase Errata

Other Animals

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As volatile and exciting a statement of purpose as you're likely to hear, Erase Errata's full-length debut, Other Animals practically cracks speakers and headphones with its nervy, smart outbursts. Songs like the brilliant "Tongue Tied" bristle with prickly attitude from all of the band's members, but Jenny Hoyston's feral vocals and trumpet playing define Erase Errata's paranoid fusion of post-punk and experimental rock (although Sara Jaffe's careening guitar lines rank a close second). Hoyston's sharply sneered singing, along with the rest of the band's music, does owe a certain debt to foremothers like the Slits, the Raincoats, and the Au Pairs -- as well as their XY counterparts, such as Gang of Four, and more overtly experimental artists like Captain Beefheart -- but Erase Errata never seem tied down by the roots of their sound. Witness "French Canadia," which begins with a brief snippet that sounds like Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" played on a toy keyboard, or the sheer energy and power that infuses and ignites virtually every track on Other Animals. The album draws the listener in by putting relatively accessible (but still powerful) songs like "Billy Mummy" and "Delivery" early in the track listing, and then gradually becomes more atonal and complex, particularly on tracks such as "C. Rex" and "Walk Don't Fly," proving that there is indeed a method to their madness. Even on the more immediate songs, Erase Errata show an impressive sense of tension and release, and of simplicity and complexity, especially on the insistent "Marathon" and "Other Animals Are #1," both of which were remixed to great effect on the Dancing Machine EP. While the untitled, instrumental interludes dilute Other Animals' formidable focus slightly, they do add to the album's subversive, righteously angry feel, best expressed by "How to Tell Yourself From a Television," which features the great lyric "We are the reason for the gated communities!" Other Animals is an invigorating, fully-realized debut that remains in a class of its own, especially when compared to some of the post-punk revivalists who followed Erase Errata into the fray.

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