[image-4]Published May 01, 2008.
Plants and Animals
Secret City Records
Epic is a word spouted too often in music reviews, but in the case of Plants and Animals’ ambitious debut folk-rock LP, it’s actually justified. Named after the popular Montreal street running through Mont Royal, Parc Avenue almost dates back to the late 1960s and early ’70s when musicians made “albums” that, even when they were self-indulgent, pushed traditional song structures and offered rewards to those with patience to make it to the finish. Parc Avenue is a big, theatrical record---plenty of instrumental breaks, horns, gorgeous strings, harmonies, choirs and clapping that stops (thank god) just short of being classified as jam-band, more like post-classic rock, making it a perfect companion for a sunny drive to the beach. While the comparisons to Arcade Fire are already tiresome, there are moments of Dylan, Young and Lennon---Devendra Banhart probably wishes he made this album---but there’s also a jazz sensibility that might have something to do with the fact that Warren C. Spicer and Matthew Woodley (Nicolas Basque is the third P&A), long-time friends and former QEH football players who left Halifax in ’96, used to busk and play jazz with Dani Oore. Parc Avenue sounds like an orchestra of hundreds---see how their sound translates to a trio, Friday, May 2, at the Marquee.
Sue Carter Flinn