On their full-length debut, Glass Animals recall more than a few of their contemporaries: Foals, Alt-J, and especially Wild Beasts spring to mind as touchstones for the band's lush yet challenging mix of indie and electronic sounds ("Hazey," meanwhile, suggests a collaboration between Massive Attack and Antony Hegarty). However, Zaba also shows what David Bayley and company bring to this style. Bayley, who produced the album, lavishes these songs with sonic details that are almost hallucinatory: the echoes that grace opening track "Flip" suggest a slow-motion reverie before the song locks into a louder, and arguably more predictable, rock groove, while "Pools" lives up to its name with its aquatic sound. All of Zaba is coated in dripping reverb that gives it a slippery feel that matches the effortless way Glass Animals slide between electric and electronic instrumentation. "Intruxx"'s looping beat sounds like a trip-hop rhythm translated into live percussion that sounds right at home next to "Wyrd"'s bubbly electronics. The band is often at its most fascinating when it conveys the chilled-out sophistication of dance music via rock, as on the low-slung groove of "Toes" or the rippling former single "Black Mambo," which makes the most of the jazzy androgyny of Bayley's vocals. An equally strange and sexy debut, Zaba's most audacious moments suggest Glass Animals will be an even more compelling act next time around.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares