If you’re starved for an original, bombastic alternative rock band, rest easy. I’ve got just the act for you. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Nocturnal Animals. IF you feel like you may have heard this name recently somewhere else, like say, the movies, you wouldn’t be wrong. But while their name may mirror that of a recent Hollywood thriller, trust me. Your time would be much better spent checking out their exciting new EP, Dark Lit Places.
A ska back beat, a jazzy swing and some hypnotic left-turns kick off the EP. “Teeth” possesses a swagger and confidence rare to a band on their debut; let alone as the opening track. Crisp, bright, surf-rock-like guitar lines sway in and out in a boozy, sultry hysteria. A recurring theme of the EP is the great lead guitar work and “Teeth” merely wets your appetite for more of what is to come.
Without doubt, the four-piece rock outfit make a big statement with their brand of chaotic, anarchic alternative rock. “Red Shoes” plays as much like a declaration as it does a great song. The influences are clear. Some Green Day inspired vocals may jump out and grab your attention off the bat. But the true moment of sonic bliss is in the tracks fantastic, wah-wah guitar solo. For just an ever so quick, blink and you’ll miss it moment, the true spirit and rowdy musical madness of the Dead Kennedys shoots to the forefront of this blast of a track.
Fun, ironic charisma bleeds over pounding, roaring drums over and over again and works every time. There’s enough straight, right down the middle rock for fans of 90’s alternative and mid-2000’s rockers alike. Nocturnal Animals are masters of their craft and excel by throwing it all out there and refusing to be bound to one specific note. “4 AM” is a great example of the band’s ability to straddle the line between introspective melodicism and gut-busting rock. The song follows traditional tropes of alternative rock with its quiet verses and exploding during the chorus, yet their execution keeps this true and trusted method sounding fresh and welcomed.
“Satellite” closes Dark Lit Places on a touching, somber note. The song is a great nod to 21st Century Breakdown-era Green Day with its haunting pianos and arena-rock worthy guitar solos. Often times, an album’s closing track could serve up a ham, or a track that brings listeners dragging across the finish line. “Satellite” perfectly sends Dark Lit Places off into the sunset, keeping you guessing and leaving you wanting more.
Nocturnal Animals are a band with an unlimited amount of potential. Their energy, their excitement and their enthusiasm pours out of every note they play. It’s exciting to see a band like this burst on the scene but it’s even more exciting to see where they go next!