Ready To Receive

...invariably [B]The Animalhouse[/B] get described as a [a]Ride[/a] spin-off band...

All is not as clear cut as it seems. Blame it on the current travails surrounding [a]Oasis[/a] and their imported helping-hand Andy Bell, but invariably The Animalhouse get described as a Ride spin-off band. True, they include two of Bell‘s fellow shoegazers, Mark Gardener and Loz Colbert, but also lurking behind The Animalhouse is the more pervasive presence of Sam Williams.

A sometime player and producer with Supergrass, Williams was also a member of The Mystics, a band long fjted in Oxford, only to split up before their debut album was released. So, with him in control, forget about swathes of Ridesque guitar; reconsider comparisons to the awful Hurricane #1 and get ready for a retread of the same retro schtick that ensured The Mystics never escaped the Oxford ringroad.

Occasionally it rises above such concerns, as ‘Spacetrash’ is a cavalier mix of guitars and bleeps and ‘Sodium Glow’ a breathlessly odd bit of dissolute spookiness, but such dalliances are passing fancies. Far too enamoured with kow-towing to the past, for the most part ‘Ready To Receive’ rocks in a predictably stoned and fuzzy way, the whole thing reaching its nadir with ‘Wasted’, a vastly inferior copy of Primal Scream‘s ‘Rocks’, right down to the T-Rexisms, handclaps and talk of “angels and freaks”.

Strained by one member’s past, The Animalhouse sound more like a one-man band than an Oxford indie supergroup. The plan has been long in the making, yet it’s fallen at the first hurdle.