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These Animal Men documentary

Articles 94 | 96 | Reviews 94 | 96

Review for Too Sussed, Vox, August 1994:

Yogic flying for beginners with These Animal Men

These Animal Men - Too Sussed (Hi Rise)

It's hard to envy These Animal Men, widely acclaimed as they are as the leading lights of the movement that never existed. The fast fading New Wave revival was fabricated by a few journalists and bands, mostly white males in their 20's who just missed punk first time round and were attempting to create a theme park recreation today.

However, what these cultural Back to Basics campaigners ignored is that punk is a mental attitude which adapts to historical circumstances, not a single look or certain sound or specific haircut that remains fixed forever. It is about sweeping away the cultural junk of the past, not recycling it, so '90s punk could mean Techno, Rap or even Grunge - but certainly not tinny, white-boy guitar pop.

None of which would matter if this Brighton foursome had an ounce of the style or skill of the lineage they claim: The Who, The Manics et al. Their debut mini-album contains one adequate three-chord slammer 'Speeed King' and a touching teenage ballad 'You're Not My Babylon', but the remainder are just feeble and forgettable. These Animal Men can be a blast live and infectiously enthusiastic in interviews, but their music is the bottom line. Rock bottom. 4/10

Stephen Dalton


Review for "Too Sussed", Popscene Fanzine, Spring 94

It's been a busy year so far for These Animal Men, who have managed in a very short space of time both to get a couple of MPs frothing at the mouth about their 'inappropriate' lyrics, and get everyone else excited with their loud, edgy and to-the-point music. "Too Sussed?" rounds up their recent singles for anyone who missed them the first time around, and when all the tracks are lined up together, they make for a powerful and intense blast of melody and noise. 'Speeed King' is still several leagues above anything else on here, but when it comes accompanied by songs as good as 'You're Not My Babylon' and 'Jobs For The Boys', that's an irrelevancy. After years of being told that 'punk' now means miserable long-haired Americans in lumberjack shirts whining self-hating lyrics, it's great to be reminded of what it should be - a concise, noisy, three-minute burst of guitar pop with lyrics about banned BBC plays and hating fools who live for their office jobs. They may look like a bunch of escapees from the early years of "Grange Hill" (or even some "Krypton Factor" contestants who got badly lost during the assault course round), but These Animal Men aren't just retreading punk's past glories. They are as informed by the rebirth of British guitar pop as they are by the spirit of The Sex Pistols and Buzzcocks, and right now there's probably nothing that we need more.

Tim Worthington


Review for (Come on Join)..., Vox, November 1994:

These Animal Men - (Come on Join) The High Society (Hi Rise)

Exactly what is new about the New Wave of New Wave? Judging by (Come on Join) The High Society, it certainly isn't the music. These Animal Men's debut, full-length album which does not include their first two singles, (featured recently on a mini-LP) does, however get off to a promising start. Steeped in teen spirit, 'Sharp Kid' is a frantically fun, infectious opener, with a Buzzcocks type charm also evident on 'Empire Building'. Soon though, the stripe-sporting, speed-snorting Men start to sound increasingly one-dimensional. Although the spunk quotient consistently remains impressively high, there is too little melody to distinguish between songs. But 'You're Always Right' and 'Flawed is Beautiful' do recall the promise of early Manic Street Preachers.

Here's hoping TAM progress beyond one good idea before they set their sights on a second album. 6/10

Lisa Verrino


Bite size reviews for (Come on Join,)...:

New Musical Express (12/24/94, p.23) - Ranked #41 in NME's list of the `Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'
Q Magazine (11/94, p.124) - 3 Stars - Good
...fired up by buzzsaw guitars, snotty vocals and manic street-preachiness...a reminder of the archetypal grandiose anthem Mott The Hoople or The Boomtown Rats built reputations on...

New Musical Express (9/24/94, p.51) - 8 - Excellent can almost see These Animal Men becoming the punked-up Queen of their generation. It takes chutzpah to make a debut album this pretentious...

Alternative Press (3/95, pp.67-68)
...This is power/smash pop in the mod/punk tradition, but it takes more structural twists and turns than the average 21-year-old, speed-shredded mind can usually devise. Beyond Green Day, TAM just might possess the most fertile pop imaginations of their generation...

Q Review, These Animal Men - Come on Join...

In the face of American grunge's slacker mentality, Britpop's retaliation has a last-gang-in-town, mod-pop front, served with plenty of arrogant cheek. So it goes with Brighton quartet These Animal Men, in their matching Adidas gear, tufty hairdos, love of controversy (the drug paean Speed King for one) and anthemic appeal. The opening Sharp Kid sums it up but This Year's Model, Flawed Is Beautiful and We Are Living flesh out the brief, fired up by buzzsaw guitars, snotty vocals and manic street-preachiness. Ultimately, the band lack the class pop structures of a Buzzcocks, Clash or Jam but fare better with the mellower Empire Building and the title track, a reminder of the archetypal grandiose anthem Mott The Hoople or The Boomtown Rats built
reputations on, replete with Cockney inflections, pumped piano, swelling chorus and sighing harmonies. Not a debut of the year, then, but a whiff of the Zeitgeist nevertheless.

Martin Aston


Review for Come on Join... Popscene Fanzine, Autumn 94

It's fair to say that These Animal Men's debut album is going to hold no great surprises, but what's so wrong about that? Their singles have been among the most exciting and dynamic of a year that so far been bursting at the seams with exciting and dynamic singles, and an entire album full of this stuff is something very welcome indeed. Recent near-hit 'This Is The Sound Of Youth' vies for the honour of best track with the title track, 'You're Always Right' and the powerhouse opener 'Sharp Kid', but there are great moments throughout this album. Some sections of the music press have lately been given to sneering that These Animal Men are just following in the footsteps of The Manic Street Preachers, even to the extent of having their own Richey in the form of Hooligan. It's easy to understand why people are saying this, but it's also interesting to note that the Manics' debut "Generation Terrorists" was confused and overlong in places, whereas "(Come On Join) The High Society" is far more coherent and knows exactly where it's going from the first guitar chord. The Manics have recently delivered a blistering, malevolent masterpiece in "The Holy Bible", and on the evidence of this debut offering, it's certainly going to be an exciting moment when These Animal Men deliver their own equivalent in a couple of years time.

Tim Worthington


Review for Taxi for..., Vox, April 1995:

These Animal Men - Taxi For These Animal Men (Hi Rise)

These Animal Men prove that they're aiming for the great rock pantheon with this five track mini-LP taster. 'My Human Remains' is a very large ballad, burning brightly with a bitter beauty, all Bowie circa Hunky Dory, Mott the Hoople and self styled '90s sharp kids rolled into one. As ever they go for flawed, mannered, almost formal phrases, rolling words around for the glorious sake of it and serving them up with imploding guitar and a splash of drums.

Brief and brilliant, Taxi For These Animal Men includes the anthemic 'You're Always Right' from their (Come on Join) The High Society, plus four new tracks that grimace, pout and preen themselves in all the right places. From the brutal chords of 'False Identification' to the ballad 'Nowhere Faces' (with a drumbeat that sounds suspiciously like Phil Collins' 'In The Air Tonight'), These Animal Men are showing versatility. We await, with baited breath, the final thing. 5/10

Lucy O'Brien


Articles 94 | 96 | Reviews 94 | 96