Animo – Blood In The Water

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews


Blood In The Water - Sans Radicles Records

When I first heard Animo‘s Blood In The Water I liked it; however, it was missing something. It was good, solid skate-punk but just not quite good enough to completely capture my imagination. But their name still stuck out in my mind and when I saw their name written on the blow-up schedule at this year’s Warped Tour I decided that they would be the band to get my attention for that thirty minute time slot. In return for my attention, the Denver quartet gave me one of the more memorable sets of the day and gave me hope for the tour in the early goings (the day had started off rather poorly).

The band had a sense of unhindered excitement behind them. Lead singer Schuyler Ankele successfully pulled in wanderers and soon had a rather large crowd in front of the Kevin Says Stage. He got the crowd involved, talked with them, jumped around and had a great time. Plus, they did a cover of Jay-Z‘s 99 Problems, calling it an “anti-emo” song; who couldn’t love that? Their set was so good it inspired me to check out Blood In The Water again – in fact, I almost bought their older records too. Unfortunately, even with the memorable performance sitting nicely in the back of my mind, Blood In The Water still seems to be missing something.

In all technical aspects Animo are succeeding. They’re playing a solid brand of snotty skate punk with a heavy nod towards the old school EpiFat sound; and that in itself is a rather pleasant change of pace. There’s some nods towards The Bouncing Souls and others towards Strung Out with chugging guitar riffs, a steady drum kit, and a snotty, harsh vocal delivery. It kicks off with the fast The Addiction and continues to pump out fast skate punk tunes. Some, like Seduction, Left Out (Between The Sheets), Sans Radicles and Last Letter Home, stand out more than others but none ever make you reach for the skip button.

Despite that though, Blood In The Water really never fully captures your attention. The record seems somewhat muffled, as if they’re not quite sure what part of their sound they want to emphasize. In the CD setting there is no crazy antics or comical banter to pull your attention and keep you focused on the band as there are in the live setting and without that extra pull you’re left wanting a bit more; a stronger punch for lack of a better term. As it is, Animo have delivered a CD that seems to float in limbo; sitting somewhere in between forgettable skate/pop-punk and an energizing release of the same genre. With a few stronger hooks and a more complete production job I’m sure Animo would be able to shine among some of the Warped Tour headliners but until they find that more complete and unique sound the band will stay only in the back of my mind, categorized as a live band to see instead of a CD to play over and over again.