Golden Animals' debut full-length is a slice of '60s blues and psychedelia with a heavy debt to the Doors.
Golden Animals are another one of those male-female duos that pop up from time to time in indie rock. Tommy Eisner plays guitar while Linda Beecroft plays drums, and both sing. Eisner is the lead singer, with a rich baritone voice that's highly reminiscent of Jim Morrison. Beecroft is no slouch, either, adding bluesy backing vocals throughout the album. Free Your Mind and Win a Pony is an awesome album title, but it may be the best thing about the album. The songs aren't bad, but they're not particularly memorable, either. And not only does Eisner sound a lot like Morrison, the Golden Animals' music is also stuck in the '60s.
There's nothing forward-looking to be found here, it's all retro. Free Your Mind and Win a Pony hearkens back to the psychedelic, blues-based rock of the Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and even a bit of the Grateful Dead. Eisner and Beecroft are both competent players and better-than average singers, but their songs just don't stand out. They don't have an interesting spin on this type of music or the excellent songwriting it takes to overcome the old-school comparisons. This album is sort of a hazy half-hour of music that doesn't do much more than remind you of the original '60s bands they're aping.