I said in my review of Look Mexico’s last release that the band showed real promise. But, I would be lying my ass off if I said I expected something as great as This Is Animal Music on the horizon for the band. Look Mexico has done a remarkable job of accentuating their positives and completely eschewing their negatives. Look Mexico hail from Tallahassee, Florida…not exactly a hotbed for indie rock. The band describes their sound as “Yacht Rock” and that actually is an apt description. Noticeably influenced by bands like American Football and Minus The Bear, Look Mexico are bringing back a sound that has sadly been lost for some time now.
I went back and gave The Crucial EP a listen before reviewing This Is Animal Music and the differences are astounding. First off, the production is a marked improvement. That is what allows the band’s growth to stand out so sharply. The band’s instrumental chops, while impressive on The Crucial EP have evolved to a whole different level on This Is Animal Music. The band’s achilles heel in the past has been the vocals. In fact, in the past I wondered if the band might be better off being an instrumental outfit. However, on the new record, the vocals are so much stronger that it will have you wondering if you are listening to the same band.
Besides the obvious talent and song-craft, what allows Look Mexico to stand apart from their peers is a noticeable humor they inject to an often unhumorous genre. The song titles tell that story rather well. Soft and affecting songs like “You Ever Get Punched In The Face For Talking Too Much?” and “Half That Money Is Mine, And I Want It” showcases the band’s ability to craft beautifully memorable songs. Lyrically, the band practices a simple conversational style that really matches the music rather well. The band mixes instrumentals into their repertoire quite liberally as well. “Dude, You Have A Bazooka” and “Comin’ In Hot With a Side of Bacon” show the band’s chops while remaining perfectly in tune with the rest of the album. The band lulls you into submission with their twinkly guitars and soft vocal style but they also show they can pick up the pace as well. On “You Come Into My House, While I Sleep?”, “Done And Done.” and “My Dad And I Built Her” the guitars build and rage in a Minus The Bear kind of way. The only complaint I have with This Is Animal Music are the spoken word recorded messages that play several times throughout the record. They seem unnecessary and only hinder the overall flow of the album. Other than that, the album plays as close to flawless as it possibly can.
Look Mexico have created a fantastic sonic journey with This Is Animal Music. The band has thrust themselves well past the point I ever expected them to go. I can not remember another 40 minute album that has ever played this effortlessly before. This Is Animal Music is the perfect soundtrack to accompany spring and summer. Whether you are sitting on the beach, boat or just on your porch, the album is a perfect example of a band hitting their stride.
RIYL: Minus The Bear, American Football, Karate