Plants and Animals The End of That

Plants and AnimalsThe End of That
On their La La Land outing, for better or worse, Plants and Animals toned down the folk elements that made debut Parc Avenue so compelling. Their third full-length release finds the Montreal trio cranking up the indie, revisiting acoustic strings and opting for a more live-off-the-floor sound. Whether it's meant to raise the delirium of a barn-burning rock anthem or to add a slow-burning touch to a ballad, The End of That is all about hook-laden, blistering guitar wails. The record follows the same structure as their song recipe. It begins with a slow build, veers unexpectedly, gaining impressive momentum with the riff-led "Lightshow" and "2010," then catches its breath for an acoustic respite ("HC") before resuming with more '70s rock-inspired jam numbers (its weakest moments). The record nears its close with "No Idea," a brooding, mid-tempo ballad of Blue Rodeo sensibility, followed by the meandering, five-minute-long "Runaway." However, it's worth getting your hands on the seven-minute long "Shaky," which comes as a digital bonus track. Certainly, The End of That has more outstanding moments than La La Land, but whether those highlights are enough to neutralize Plants and Animals' weakness for occasionally derivative kitsch depends on how much their fans are willing to overlook. (Secret City)