Animal Hospital Good or Plenty, Streets + Avenues

Animal Hospital Good or Plenty, Streets + Avenues
As a Boston area engineer, Kevin Micka has built his reputation as a first-rate loop guru. Guiding guitar, drums and other sound sources through a maze of electronics, he creates vivacious streams of notes that change colour with each new collision. The vivid playfulness of the Books is called to mind as a comparison. For all the high-resolution detail and clever juxtaposition of sounds, Animal Hospital fall prey to a problem that plagues many sound-happy artists: the building, building, building up of many tracks never actually becomes anything more than a foundation to a song. Certain pieces, like "March and June," with its systolic beat, whirring resonance and cooing vocals, promise to swerve but never change their arrow-straight path off into a vanishing point. "Barnyard Creeps" is a latecomer that breaks that tradition, using a gnarled guitar form to force directional shifts. Micka's knack for interesting textures and complementary colours makes the album an easy listen, but one that fails to leave lasting impressions. (Mutable Sound)