Animals That Swim : Happiness From A Distant Star

Hank Starrs and low-rent friends return

With only their third album in eight years, Animals That Swim have quietly been gaining a reputation, like Felt in their time, for being the great lost band of their age. For those who have already surrendered to the power of their breezy melodies, 'Happiness...' will not disappoint.

What defines them as ever is their complete absence of drama. Animals That Swim have always resisted the temptation to stamp indiscriminately on the emotional overdrive pedal, preferring to document the small, almost inconsequential details of their daily lives.

Hence, opening track 'All Your Stars Are Out' seems like a pretty deadpan description of a nice weekend while the glorious single 'The Moon And The Mothership' details the story of someone they presumably met on a bus somewhere who believed they saw aliens on a transatlantic flight.

However, that ability to find beauty and wonder in life's quieter moments is the greatest strength of ATS. 'Happiness...' is an album of lyrical brilliance and has a few good tunes to boot. An extremely good record then, but defiantly

not a major one.

Jim Wirth
7 / 10

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