Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Repeat: Other Lives - Tamer Animals

I used to think The National had a completely unique sound, one that was impervious to imitation. Not only does Matt Berninger's detached baritone emote adult melancholy like none other, but combined with the tumbling slap of Bryan Devendorf's drums, they produce an atmosphere that fans can recognize instantly. Well, The National, consider yourself hacked. The Oklahoma 5-piece Other Lives have cracked the code to your sounds and began producing moody tracks of their own.

'Tamer Animals', the newest single off their sophomore release of the same name, is the purest distillation of what I'm talking about. While Jesse Tabish's voice sounds more like Paul Banks of Interpol than Berninger, what surrounds him is pitch perfect. The off-balance drumbeats and reverberating piano mirror each verse beautifully, and although backing vocals are called in to give Tabish some depth, I can't say I blame them; few voices can make a listener to 'sit up and take notice' like Berninger's. When all is said and done, 'Tamer Animals' is something would have played quite nicely on High Violet, but instead finds itself nestled in the center someone else's record. National, consider yourselves flattered. 

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