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Spirit Animal

This Is a Test EP

(Self-released; US: 14 Nov 2012; UK: 14 Nov 2012)

Play That Funky Music

“This is not art,” intones a voice on the track “Lead!” on this EP from the New York by way of Los Angeles band Spirit Animal, and that would be true. Spirit Animal is simply a group out for a good time: it has been garnering comparisons to funk maestros Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as the offbeat rock of Faith No More. However, there’s also a touch of psychedelic influence to the music, making this stuff that you might not only want to party to, but get high while listening to as well. And, for the most part, it is a welcome sonic stew that will get toes tapping and bums wiggling. However, there’s a pulse of intelligence to be had: “Never dumb it down, because to dumb it down is a sin,” goes a line in the first song “Crocodile Skins”. Thankfully, Spirit Animal never surrenders entirely to their basic instincts, offering questions on the nature of art and rearing families.

There are three remixes of tracks that appear on this EP tacked onto the very end, and they do feel a tad on the superfluous side, with the redone version of “Age of Advice” feeling a bit busy. I would have been happy if I’d just gotten the five-song EP, to be entirely honest and truthful with you. Still, when this band is firing on all cylinders with their druggy take on white boy funk music, it’s a remarkably good time. On one hand, people tend to not make music like this anymore, and yet, on the other, it feels remarkably contemporary and in step with these indie rock times. So put your boogie shoes on and get down with this band who plies their deep bass lines and tasty guitar licks to ferocious tiger-like effect. I guess ultimately you could call the band, pardon the really awful pun, real party animals.


Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, and more. He also reviews books for

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21 Mar 2013
Spirit Animal's EP This is a Test has gotten them some buzz from MTV and Rolling Stone. You can download it (for the price of your email) from here.
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