‘Animal Joy’ (Sub Pop)
A peculiar unwillingness to climax is something that many Shearwater records have suffered with over the years, and ‘Animal Joy’ is unfortunately no exception. That’s not to say that the intricate, almost baroque-inflected routes they take aren’t scintillating, but when it comes to finishing them off there’s a huge reluctance to let a shameless sing-along or instrumental wig-out take over. Which is a pity, because it would really, really suit them. The closest they come is the opening ‘Animal Life’ which is buoyant and melodically ingenious – it’s easily worth the price for that alone.