Plants and Animals’ new album, The End of That, sees the Montreal trio of Warren C. Spicer, Nic Basque and Matthew ‘Woodman’ Woodley bridging the gap between their 2008 debut, Parc Avenue, and 2010’s darker La La Land.
The band took a different, more relaxed approach with The End of That as opposed to their former sprawling, in-the-studio songwriting process. They decided to write and fully develop a large volume of material before setting the tape rolling and clock running. But whereas they spent more time than ever before preparing, they actually recorded and mixed The End of That faster than any other Plants and Animals record to-date (save perhaps their 2007 breakthrough, the brief with/avec EP). With their new songs fleshed out, the band returned to La Frette Studios, outside of Paris, and with the help and ear of engineer Lionel Darenne (Feist) wrapped up their sessions in two weeks. The end result is arguably Plants and Animals’ most live-off-the floor offering.
That also makes The End of That their most intimate record. While there’s no shortage of their catchy electric guitar riffs, as evidenced on lead single “Lightshow,” the album also showcases lead singer Warren C. Spicer on piano, and plenty of acoustic guitar—an early touchstone of the band that had been given a break on the last record. Fans of Plants and Animals’ early acoustic work will feel right at home with The End of That, while lovers of the band’s multi-part excursions won’t be disappointed either; side A and B of the album end and begin with their own respective anthemic monsters.
If Plants and Animals were a person, Parc Avenue would be that person around, say, eight years old—excited, wide-eyed, scatterbrained and innocent. The heavier, darker La La Land is the throws of adolescence—the body changing in exciting and confusing ways, cocky and insecure, bold and volatile, oily. The End Of That, is 20-something prime—confident in a new, unmasked way, young, excited, going through some shit, will be at the party tonight.
Plants and Animals’ The End of That is out February 28, 2012 on Secret City.