Ceramic Animal dad rocks the world in The Cart - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Ceramic Animal | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller

Ceramic Animal are doing something special. Combining soulfulness borrowed from The Doors with the slacker vibe of dad rockers everywhere, their newest record The Cart is breaking down rock and roll barriers.

Sporting a cover reminiscent of record store dollar bins, The Cart intertwines psychedelic-infused jams with some unexpected instrumentation. “Maybe” opens the album with a foreshadowing hum of ambiance, quickly filled with sweet keys driving home a tale of embellishment. “Dreams via Memories” screams DeMarco from the playful guitars (also tastefully found in “Mistake”) and synth to the overall bummer love aesthetic that seems to pop up all over this record. Especially apparent in the swing dance throwback ballad “Tonight,” a tired love story with an expiration date, love is seemingly portrayed without all its pieces, which both worries and excites.

“Edgy” thrusts into a last hurrah, jam-packed with that lovely pulsing synth I love hearing in these “dad rock” revivals. A story starts to form towards the end of the album as “Against The Wall” seems like an exhausted aftermath of the previous track, while “Mad” finds an end to this continuing love story (and man, those echoing vocals are encapsulating). The ending track of “Codename Righteous” wears its Doors influences right on its sleeves, from the droning keys to the bouncy double snare. A peak of some sort of euphoric trip, it all comes to head and ends just as quick as it began, exhausting everything the band had to give.

Overall, Ceramic Animal brings a new life to this style, shoving more stoner love into the Silly Putty of classic rock. I think the term “slacker” certainly comes with the aesthetics, not the execution, as the band fills every nook and cranny with effort. If you want to hear this soul-lifter live, the band has a show at Johnny Brenda’s on the 20th; tickets / more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.

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