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Pattern-Seeking Animals - Prehensile Tales

Pattern-Seeking Animals
Prehensile Tales
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 June 2020, 7:56 AM

PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS, the California-based band featuring Ted Leonard (Lead Vocals & Guitars), Jimmy Keegan (Drums & Vocals), Dave Meros (Bass) and John Boegehold (Keyboards) is set to release its second studio album in just under a year. “Prehensile Tales” continues on the same stylistic path as their eponymously-named debut with a few new turns along the way. The album contains six tracks.

“Raining Hard in Heaven” opens the album; an eight-minute opus. Smooth tunes lead the way, along with easy-listening vocals that are at time harmonized. Following the second chorus, the melody really shines. It’s subtle, but oh so charming. Then, they turn up the Progressive elements with plenty of bass and keys in the mix. “Here is my Autumn” opens with a gentle sway, with keys leading the way. At times the sound drops to a near hush, allowing the melodies to come through strong. I love how well you can hear the bass in the mix. That is an instrument often lost in modern music. But Dave shows what he can do with the four-string axe. The song takes several twists and turns, but the band always has an eye on the main melody line.

“Elegant Vampires” is a four-minute jaunt. Opening with the steady thumping of the bass, the keys and guitars join in to carry the almost folky melody. It has more melancholy and depressing feeling for the most part. “The end is near” he croons. “Why don’t we Run” is another shorter song, clocking in at just over five minutes. It opens with an Eastern feeling; fueled mostly by the acoustic guitars. The trumpet gives the song an almost Southern hemisphere sound. They really can cover a lot of ground in a short song. “Lifeboat” is a beast, at over seventeen minutes in length. Keys lead the way, and the song really gathers some steam before the vocals come in at around the two-minute mark. The opening tones are despondent. “Everyone on the lifeboat, the ship is going down” he croons. You can feel those ominous tones along with the message. Other instruments come in the mix as well…sax and trumpet if I am not mistaken. The journey is very interesting…it shifts many times along the way.

“Soon but not Today” closes the album; a twelve-minute opus. It opens with harmonic guitar strikes and soft piano. Once it gets going, it builds into a heavy rhythm, fueled mostly by bass guitar. It waxes and wanes several times throughout the song, but doesn’t lose sight of the melody line. They remind me a bit of old school Prog bands like YES and TOTO, but with more subtle melodies. The explore a lot of ground here on the album, which has a slightly despondent tone overall. It’s both easy listening and challenging at the same time, a feat that is hard to establish, and I can’t say enough about Dave Meros’s bass playing…it is absolutely fantastic and the glue that holds the album together.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Raining Hard in Heaven
2. Here is my Autumn
3. Elegant Vampires
4. Why don’t we Run
5. Lifeboat
6. Soon but not Today
Lineup:
John Boegehold – Keys
Ted Leonard – Lead Vocals and Guitars
Dave Meros – Bass
Jimmy Keegan – Drums and Vocals
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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