We're Animals

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Over the course of their albums and EPs, Numbers have slowly colored in their sketchy, high-contrast electro-punk, adding more depth and breadth to their sound with each release. We're Animals is no exception -- in fact, its blend of new wave, psychedelic drones, and homages to early-'90s dream pop makes it the band's most eclectic and accomplished album yet. On songs like "Black Crow Heart of Gold," the band sounds almost unrecognizable: Indra Dunis sings instead of shouts, and Eric Landmark's keyboards provide atmospheric washes instead of spiky outbursts. Actually, Numbers sound a little like a scuzzy, low-res version of early Stereolab on several songs, especially the naïvely beautiful "Funny But Sad" and the downright pretty final track, "Party's Over." Still, as the album's title implies, the band is far from tame, even if it has slowed down and cleaned up its sound a bit. "Beast Life" and "I'll Love You 'til I Don't" are fizzy and melodic with unpredictable stops, starts, and dynamic shifts, while the dense, lumbering "Desert Life" arguably rocks harder, or at least heavier, than anything they've released before. "The Fuck You Garage" sound like one of the band's older songs played at half speed, giving Dunis' drums a loping, almost sexy swing. A radical -- but successful -- departure, We're Animals might have slightly fewer instantly memorable songs than In My Mind All the Time, but it shows that Numbers are continuing to develop and experiment in ways that make this album exciting in a completely different way than their previous work.

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