I don’t usually listen to instrumental music, but when I do, I expect to have my socks knocked off. Oh, what do we have here? It’s Animals As Leaders. As a guitar player who is forever mesmerized by Tosin Abasi, I’ve learned from my mistakes of listening to Animals As Leaders in public. Typically my socks come straight off, and I end up pulling a “sock man,” and there is my RHCP reference for the day.

First things first – dat toan. One of my favorite things about AAL, more accurately my favorite thing about Tosin??, is the clean guitar tone. You get a taste of that right off the bat with the guitar chords strummed on “Ka$cade.” I’m not quite sure what’s up with the money sign, but I re$pect it. Did I just use it ironically? I’d like to think that I didn’t, but my subconscious is a mysterious peni$.

Track two aka “Lippincott,” – PAUSE – according to Misha Mansoor’s, who co-wrote some of this album, ask.fm, Lippencott is a musician that Tosin was reminded of whilst writing the song – UNPAUSE – has a wicked kick drum roll during some riffage that made me want to pop n lock. Lots of cool variety of influence on this collection of jammage, including some smooth jazz that if you were to hear it in an elevator, you’d be wondering whether or not you’re actually traveling side to side. In “Another Year” the jazzing goes from “hello mini moog” to “jen jen jen” with some delightful synths that really make you question what time period we’re currently living in.

Favorite track? “Physical Education.” Super slick rhythm groove with some trippy harmonics going on here, along with a chipper lead theme that keeps resurfacing. The harmony to the lead also adds to an exotic nature to the song where you really feel that Sumerian vibe coming through. The general feeling that I get when listening to this album though reminds of getting stuck on a level of Sonic where you need to jump over something but can’t quite time it correctly, so you need to start all over after you fall off the map. Is it just me? That might just be me.

Track Listing:

01. Ka$cade
02. Lippincott
03. Air Chrysalis
04. Another Year
05. Physical Education
06. Tooth And Claw
07. Crescent
08. The Future That Awaited Me
09. Para Mexer
10. The Woven Web
11. Mind-Spun
12. Nephele

Run Time: 54:28
Release Date: March 25, 2014

Check out the song “Physical Education”