The Post Animal Takeover Is Just Getting Started: Love Gibberish Has Been Released
On May 13th, which will go down as one of the greatest music release dates in music history, beloved Chicago quintet Post Animal released their third album, Love Gibberish! Produced entirely by the band themselves, Love Gibberish incorporates elements from their previous releases When I Think Of You In A Castle and Forward Motion Godyssey in a way that showcases just how far they’ve come. It also clocks in at a short and sweet 36 minutes, making the sonic complexities even more potent.
Kicking off with “Bolt From Above,” the band – composed of Dalton Allison, Jake Hirshland, Javier Reyes, Wesley Toledo, and Matthew Williams – does something similar to Arctic Monkeys between Humbug and Suck It And See. “Bolt From Above” immediately eases the tension left at the end of “Sifting,” the closer for Forward Motion Godyssey. Where “Sifting” masterfully continued into the darkness, “Bolt From Above” almost instantaneously provides a light. It’s as if the past two years between the albums were a sort of feeling around in the darkness for a light switch.
And though it seems that the lights come on immediately, they don’t hit their full brightness until “Love Is Trouble.” Although that song title might dictate a certain form of negativity, the sonic palette the band is working with is phenomenally positive. From the uplifting guitars to Toledo’s soaring and flighty drums, “Love Is Trouble” gives an excellent juxtaposition between lyrical content and musical tone. This is the same path followed in the next track, “No More Sports,” which you can read our review of here.
The over-the-top and bombastic nature of “No More Sports” gives way to the shockingly dark “When You Walk Towards Me.” If there was any song that sounded like a holdover from Forward Motion Godyssey, it would be this one. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a bit jarring, particularly where it’s placed on the tracklist.
The flow of this album is phenomenal, even though “When You Walk Towards Me” feels jarring between “No More Sports” and “Megaphone.” To editorialize a bit, “Megaphone” is my favorite track on this album. The doubling of the vocals and the guitar in the chorus mixed with the energy of the drums and synthesizers is incredible, and the lyrics suit the instrumental while also giving some listening instructions (“Listen close or you will never know”). The band has described it as “hyper-prog,” in the same vein as hyper-pop, and I would agree. It’s an earworm, and it has every reason to be.
Following “Megaphone” is “Puppy Dog,” the initial single from Love Gibberish, and the tone shift is masterful. It’s somewhat expected given the lyrical content of “Megaphone,” and that makes it feel smoother than the tone shift between “No More Sports” and “When You Walk Towards Me.” You can read our review of “Puppy Dog” here, so I won’t spend too much time on it, but know this: the synthesis of genres and grooves is exceptional. It was the initial single for a reason.
“Cancer Moon” gets into some of the glossier pop production, and it sounds like it’s straight out of the late 90s/early 2000s Sega Sound Team catalog. As a child of the late 90s, this song being released as a single was invoking a nostalgia that I didn’t even realize I had. The guitar work is tight, and the drums feel humanly metronomic, “and cool air makes the body warmer, too.” There are moments in this song that take me back to my pre-cognizance, and the song sounds immaculate.
Finally, “Infinite Zone” and “Don’t Go That Way.” “Infinite Zone” feels like a complete hybrid of When I Think Of You In A Castle and Forward Motion Godyssey. The sounds could live on either album, but the lyrical content and the vocal effects are what set this firmly in the Love Gibberish era. In the same vein, “Don’t Go That Way” moved me to tears more than one time. Going from the insanity that is “Infinite Zone” into the more pensive, thoughtful, and slightly melancholic “Don’t Go That Way” is an exhilarating experience that words cannot do justice to. And the instrumental vamp for the outro is one of the more beautiful things you’ll hear this year, potentially this decade, from a proper rock band.
Matthew Williams has said “This album takes us back to how it felt before we ever thought we’d be an actual touring band, with no expectations for ourselves. Now, we’re inside the gibberish-ness of life, trying to figure out what we need to survive.” If this is what the band members need to survive, it’s what I need to survive, too. Just like love, there is confusion, beauty, pain, joy, mild insanity, and passion – among other things – strewn throughout this album. If Forward Motion Godyssey was a telling of things to come in 2020, Love Gibberish is simultaneously a reflection and a message of hope.
Check out Love Gibberish below, and be sure to give yourself the space necessary to feel everything it will make you feel. There’s a lot here, and it’s all good. Be sure to also check out our interview with Wes and Javi above to get an even better feel for where the band was coming from on this album! As always, let us know what you think!