Music

Anadivine: Zoo

Kevin Jagernauth

Anadivine lack the forward thinking and progressive spirit of Coheed; although these songs are well crafted and nicely executed, they are instantly forgettable.


Anadivine

Zoo

Label: The Militia Group
US Release Date: 2004-09-21
UK Release Date: 2004-10-18
Amazon
iTunes

I never went to zoos very often as a child. Maybe once or twice. Now that I'm older, the thought is somewhat depressing. Luckily, living in Montreal, I do have the pleasure of going to the Biodome. The Biodome not only recreates the environments for the animals that are housed there -- but also the climates. Rather than keeping the animals inside cages, the Biodome offers large rooms for them to roam around in, creating winding paths that allow the visitors to see the animals in a habitat that is as close to natural as possible. From watching the monkeys swing from tree to tree to having birds literally fly overhead, the Biodome is an immersive, sprawling experience.

I'm not quite sure why Anadivine named their debut album Zoo. Perhaps it's referring to the sloppy, dizzying cut and paste artwork that graces the disc's liner notes. More appropriately, I'd like to think it refers to the pastiche of styles that the group blends together. Thick hardcore riffing, sweeping indie-rock melodies and heady emo choruses all vie for equal attention. Thankfully, the Anadivine have little problem juggling all these styles, creating an album that nicely unites the group's disparate influences.

Working in the studio with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner, Anadivine seems to have found engineers and producers who truly know how to bring about the best sound for the group. Birnbaum and Bittner also manned the boards for Coheed and Cambria's breakthrough album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. Both groups mix pop sensibilities with a more traditional hardcore/metal framework. Unfortunately, Anadivine lacks the forward thinking and progressive spirit of Coheed and Cambria; although these songs are well crafted and nicely executed, they are instantly forgettable. There are dozens of bands with a similar sound operating within the same scene as Anadivine. Though Zoo is blessed with a production team that gives the songs room to breathe, the listener must struggle to remember it.

It's hard not to get distracted by other things. Guitarists Michael Saracino and William Manley can certainly write some stinging riffs; drummer Justin Meyer fluidly shifts from style to style. But the listener's interest can't help but flag by the midpoint of the record. There are certainly some nice moments, such as the math-rock guitar aerobics that occur early on in "Dangerous Mixed With", the explosive opening to "This Accident Worked Too Well", and the breathtaking conclusion to "Duet from the Dead", the album's final track. But these moments are few and far between. The songs that surround them are mind-numbingly dull.

Anadivine is clearly comfortable with its sound, but with countless other bands copping the same moves, it is unclear how they will stand out. The players are skilled and the songwriting talent is there, but if Anadivine wish to remain relevant they have to begin challenging themselves -- and the scene around them -- with something new.

4
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".

Music

The Durutti Column's 'Vini Reilly' Is the Post-Punk's Band's Definitive Statement

Mancunian guitarist/texturalist Vini Reilly parlayed the momentum from his famous Morrissey collaboration into an essential, definitive statement for the Durutti Column.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

What Will Come? COVID-19 and the Politics of Economic Depression

The financial crash of 2008-2010 reemphasized that traumatic economic shifts drive political change, so what might we imagine — or fear — will emerge from the COVID-19 depression?

Music

Datura4 Take Us Down the "West Coast Highway Cosmic" (premiere)

Australia's Datura4 deliver a highway anthem for a new generation with "West Coast Highway Cosmic". Take a trip without leaving the couch.

Music

Teddy Thompson Sings About Love on 'Heartbreaker Please'

Teddy Thompson's Heartbreaker Please raises one's spirits by accepting the end as a new beginning. He's re-joining the world and out looking for love.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Little Protests Everywhere

Wherever you are, let's invite our neighbors not to look away from police violence against African Americans and others. Let's encourage them not to forget about George Floyd and so many before him.

Music

Carey Mercer's New Band Soft Plastics Score Big with Debut '5 Dreams'

Two years after Frog Eyes dissolved, Carey Mercer is back with a new band, Soft Plastics. 5 Dreams and Mercer's surreal sense of incongruity should be welcomed with open arms and open ears.

Music

Sondre Lerche Rewards 'Patience' with Clever and Sophisticated Indie Pop

Patience joins its predecessors, Please and Pleasure, to form a loose trilogy that stands as the finest work of Sondre Lerche's career.

Film

Ruben Fleischer's 'Venom' Has No Bite

Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.

Books

Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.

Music

Reaching For the Vibe: Sonic Boom Fears for the Planet on 'All Things Being Equal'

Sonic Boom is Peter Kember, a veteran of 1980s indie space rockers Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, E.A.R., and a whole bunch of other fascinating stuff. On his first solo album in 30 years, he urges us all to take our foot off the gas pedal.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.