[sic] Magazine

Animal Hospital – Memory

At first listen, Animal Hospital’s music seems like archetypal post-rock fare with middling quiet segments rudely interrupted by shards of cataclysmic noise. Then after a few more spins of ‘Memory’, not only is there more depth than you might imagine but also the fact that the album is actually the product of one man, Boston, Massacusetts resident Kevin Micka. A remarkable achievement when you consider the diversity and emotion invested in to the album.

Characterised by twinkling atmospherics and an acoustic guitar, ‘Good Times’ sets events off at a calm, tranquil pace. Then comes the storm. ‘His Belly Burst’ is – as its title possibly implies – a sprawling mass of prog rock and post-rock textures; the mournful strings usurped halfway along its journey by humungous chugging rhythms.

After some showy chords on ‘2nd Anniversary’, there’s more action of both the visceral and cerebral kind where heavier guitars crash in and experiment wildly in a manner which would make King Crimson proud, before they too disappear into a Bark Psychosis-like vapour trail. The best moment, however, is saved to last. Less harsh and more moving that what has gone on before, the title track evokes loss and wide open spaces with its haunting effects and stark atmospherics.

By turns, bleak, explosive, pastoral and melancholic, ‘Memory’ is undoubtedly a powerful album. Admittedly, it’s a lot to take in one sitting but by its beautiful ending, I had been convinced by Micka’ s vision.



For more from Jon, please read his ‘zine Leonards Lair