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Red Animal War | Black Phantom Crusades | review | alternative | Lollipop

Red Animal War

Black Phantom Crusades (Deep Elm)
by Tim Den

Red Animal War continue to defy expectations. With Black Phantom Crusades, their cautious blend of Jawbox-isms ("When Pigs Fly"), wire-y guitar grinds ("When I Get the Feelin' (Back in My Hands)"), jazz-influenced chords ("Straight Lines for Construction Workers;" by far the album's most ambitious and moving moment), and lyrical bitterness has hurled them straight out of any indie rock genre stereotype. How this band mastered a sound so creative, so angular yet warm, and so technical yet reckless in just three records is beyond me. One thing's for sure: Red Animal War have become Deep Elm's premier act. Black Phantom Crusades is not only the label's most unique offering to date, it's a victory in the often-regurgitated indie rock battlefield.
(PO Box 36939 Charlotte, NC 28236)

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