Label: Art Union Release date: 08/11/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon Idolise, the debut effort from Welsh five-piece We//Are//Animal, is a classic indie pop album in the lineage of Arctic Monkeys and early Kasabian before the ego. Founded in insistent vocals, simple guitar hooks and anthemic choruses, it is astounding that they haven't yet been burdened with the widespread popularity their predecessors gained. This album is set to change all that. Recorded throughout Wales on a BOSS 8 Track in such glamorous locations as quarries and abandoned buildings, the record offers a genuine personality and individuality, rooted in 60's rock'n'roll. Opening with the first single from the album, '1268', there is an immediate urgency to the album, with a cow bell adding to the lo-fi appeal, and the garage guitars giving the track a brooding, industrial edge. The harmonised vocals are perfectly appropriate, reminiscent of The Vines at times, with Foals a consistent influence in terms of the meticulous guitar hooks. However, Idolise is far from derivative, taking a tired genre and offering more than just an average haircut and a pair of crappy plimsolls. This is not a pretentious album, with an honesty and openness to the lyrics, as 'Hunting' innocently asks “climb up on my ship/ we'll wreck it off the coast somewhere”. There is an endearing innocence, underlined by the britpop riff. It's almost too easy to picture the band in a bedroom, playing grungy Stone Roses covers, but the wide range of genres covered by the album only serves to strengthen it as a whole. 'Unfold/ Fold' has a bluesy tone, but is still emphatically contemporary with the vague electronica that is infused throughout the record. 'Super Overdrive' is aggressively pubescent- “why am I so tired?”- but is not the sound of a band taking themselves seriously, instead addressing their insomnia ironically through a repetitive chorus and Game-Boy sound effects. If nothing else, it's different. In an album full of hits, it's difficult to pick a definitive song, but 'Black Magic' stands out as the perfect representation of We//Are//Animal; a ballsy, old school attack on the current 80's synth resurgence. Though the album invariably suffers for its length, at forty five minutes it is pushing the boundaries of creativity, with 'Clean Up And Run' particularly weak, it is a brave debut, establishing an originality amidst a sea of genericism. By picking and mixing various effects from different decades, let alone different bands, We//Are//Animal have produced a superb first album that is indisputably current and original, serving as a warning to the mainstream that guitar music is far from dead. Photobucket