For the past few years the post-punk groundhog has been peeking out of its hole to stare at its own shadow. It was okay at first, but now it just seems like most bands don't lack enough vision to do anything but copy Gang of Four. But on its fourth album, We're Animals, the Oakland, California-based Numbers is taking something that's already been done and vivifying it. Isn't that what being a great band is all about?
Numbers comes with just the right amount of chaos in the music to complement singer Indra Dunis's sugar-and-spice coo. She's innocent-looking, but she wreaks havoc. "Funny but Sad" is a festively deranged arrangement of a half-buried call-and-response chorus, whereas the droning Krautrock chill in "Can't Remember" can come off as sort of an interlude for the album, setting up the chunky noise sludge that is "Solid Pleasure."
But two tracks stand out: "Beast Life" and "Black Crow Heart of Gold." They make it seem like Numbers isn't a trio but a six-piece. The garage guile in "Beast Life" lies on a foundation of jagged synth lines, and the arty, grinding treble takes heed on "Black Crow Heart of Gold" with just the right touch of bedroom electro.
We're Animals may not be as mind-boggling as Numbers' 2004 release, In My Mind All the Time, but it merges elements of the precursors to the new wave/post-punk movements with a psychedelic ambiance.
"Black Heart of Gold" MP3
Prefix review: Numbers [Death] by Paolo Suarez
Prefix review: Numbers [Ee-Uh!] by Dan Carter
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