Staff Rating

4.75/5

User Rating

2/5

Animalhaus - The Boys Of Barley Hill

WREN   (346 reviews)

Posted: 12/09/2011 | Comments: 32 | Rate:

June of 2010 was the last time we were given anything from the hooligans out of Schwenksville, PA. The Animalhaus demo was possibly the most talked about piece of music that summer and the hype train seems to have never really slowed down. As a matter of fact, it has been just gathering more steam. With the release of their debut full length finally being released, the days are counting down until they pull a Doc Brown and get that train up to the speed to launch them into that next level. For a good part of the year I’ve been hearing from the boys about their full length. I remember before my band even recorded a single note, I was asked (again) to come up and sing on the album. Once again, that never happened. The only reason I bring this up is because we recorded in late February. So for atleast 10 months, probably longer, I’ve been hearing about the album and how proud the boys were of it. Well the wait is finally over.

Obviously the first question many people are wondering is “Was the wait worth it?” I would have to say, absolutely. What I really liked about the demo was that it showcased what the band could do. Each song had its own character and really showed the diversity that the band was capable of tackling. All the individual elements that were presented individually with each of the 5 tracks on the demo were combined into total efforts on a more focused full length. While each of the 5 demo songs were re-recorded for The Boys Of Barley Hill, the new material seems to have blended all the elements in the right way and have now defined Animalhaus’ style. If I had to classify the band in a genre, I would call it Working Class Punk Rock. Think a more punk Wisdom In Chains but more hardcore version of Dropkick Murphy’s. There are even some sing-along parts that had me think of old AFI at times.

Now that it’s been over a year since John Barlow had surprised me with a voice that I’ve never heard him make before, I have since grown accustom to it. While I thought he performed his vocal duties very well on the demo, he has now fully grown into it. He is gruff, yet melodic voice has become more powerful and refined since the demo. For someone I’ve heard sing for the majority of his life, this is clearly the best I’ve ever heard him take command of the microphone. It also helps that his lyrics are just as articulate as I’ve come to know John talk over the years. I expected well crafted stories that were a reflection of his own life and I couldn’t have been more right. Knowing what most of the songs are about, I can identify greatly with the tales he tells on this record.

Not to take any credit away from the rest of the band, but Shawn Hackett absolutely steals the show on this record. His performance on this album is about as close to perfection as I feel someone could get. I know that he has played on recordings prior to the Animalhaus material but that’s the only material I’m familiar with that he’s played on. While he lacks the depth of a back catalog of material, he makes up for it with sheer talent. He plays like he’s been a professional for years. It would be insulting to just label the melodies and solos he creates on this album as catchy, because they are much beyond that word.

I know that some people are going to jump all over this as a biased review knowing that John and I have been friends for almost 20 years but I assure you that if this wasn’t a sincere review, I wouldn’t have written it. It’s not fair to anyone that I write something I don’t believe in. If I thought the record sucked, I probably would have pawned it off to someone else to review. Let them take the heat if they thought it was bad. Like I said in the demo review, punk is a funny genre for me. I tend to hate classics and the albums or bands I do like, come few and far between. I will go on record now and say that I’m not just a friend to Animalhaus but I’m absolutely a fan of the band. If this was a group of individuals that I didn’t k

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Comments
cumb0ner
14,013 Posts
32/M/PA
solid review, solid album.
vanilla gorilla
213,890 Posts
40/M/PA
seriously, awesome album. terrible dudes.
437
15,260 Posts
33/M/PA
Cant wait to hear it.
HatesMostThings
19,190 Posts
7/M/NA
Want it now
HatesMostThings
19,190 Posts
7/M/NA
Release now, party In February
I brought gifts
17,883 Posts
35/M/MD
not looking forward to the months of people who have heard the record telling me how good it is.....i know its going to be good god damnit

now everyone keep their motherfucking mouths shut until i get to hear it
vanilla gorilla
213,890 Posts
40/M/PA
i will do this just for you crawley
Pulp Free
52,194 Posts
37/M/PA
If I'm not mistaken it's suppose to be out early January, so it's only going to be a month.
I brought gifts
17,883 Posts
35/M/MD
six months in animalhose time
I have no legs!
12 Posts
114/M/PA
Enemahose time is not measured in months but rather in farts.
Chooch
2,359 Posts
31/M/FL
Originally posted by: Craley

six months in animalhose time



seriously. took them long enough.
NO TRUST
1,995 Posts
33/M/NY
Great job boys, can't wait for it to drop!
Web Bitch
33,523 Posts
36/M/NJ
Animalhoose.
NO TRUST
1,995 Posts
33/M/NY
Isn't that a zoo?
Yes, We know...
7,495 Posts
41/M/PA
AnimalHorse. The artwork is awesome

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