Plants and Animals + Lost in the Trees

9.June.2010 - New York

by Thomas Hauner

11 June 2010

Before trading in his moccasins for boat shoes, Warren Spicer and Plants and Animals put some sweat into it at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City Wednesday night.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about Montreal trio Plants and Animals is that they can play through both hyperbolic lines (“It takes an enemy to make you get out of bed”) and cliché ones (“hard at work but hardly working”) without losing any intensity or credibility. An epic garage rock outfit that ostensibly values instrumentation and song-structure over lyrics, their perspiration, not lyrical delineations, is what’s most pertinent.
So when a fan mockingly cried out, “Lazy!” after lead singer, and guitarist, Warren Spicer shared the band’s weekend holiday plans in Cape Cod, Spicer’s sweat-dripping brow was an adequate rebuttal.

Though the band was touring mostly in support of their latest record, La La Land, songs from 2008’s Parc Avenue were stronger live. The monumental composition “Faerie Dance” left mic stands knocked over, and “Bye Bye Bye” closed their set, with choral assistance from openers Lost in the Trees turning it into a Queen-like anthem. Still, “The Mama Papa”, from La La, laid a great guitar riff on top of drummer Matthew Woodley’s deceivingly simple beat. For an encore, the crowd voted for “Mercy” and its afropop licks.

Lost in the Trees, under the leadership of Ari Picker, played a nice set of orchestral pop beforehand, however their arrangements were oversaturated affairs, with awful French horn parts seeming forced. They also, more or less, ignored their genre’s best tool: dynamics—except when they dramatically unplugged their instruments to play their last song from the middle of the venue.

Lost in the Trees

Plants and Animals

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