Other Lives - Tamer Animals (3 stars)

Debut evoking Ennio Morricone, The Decemberists and The National

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Other Lives - Tamer Animals

(Play it Again Sam)

The influential fingerprints of Ennio Morricone are clearly visible on Other Lives’ debut record. The galloping pace and stark electric guitar of debut single ‘For 12’ recalls the theme from A Few Dollars More, while the sound of what could be a distorted harmonica (à la Once Upon a Time in the West) sweeps through the aptly-titled ‘Dustbowl III’. It’s wonderfully evocative of the harsh and sandy landscapes of Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, or indeed, the Great Plains surrounding Stillwater, Oklahoma, home of Other Lives’ lead singer, composer and bandleader Jesse Tabish.

Morricone is not the only ingredient here. Melodic elements of The Decemebrists and The National are discernible as well (Other Lives have toured with both); the group harmonies on ‘Old Statues’ and ‘Woodwind’ are very Fleet Fox-y; and the vocal line on ‘Desert’ is similar to that of The Flaming Lips’ ‘Do You Realize??’. While these comparisons are by no means derogatory, it does leaving us hoping that Tabish will emerge from the shadows of his influences for Other Lives’ next release.

Other Lives - For 12 (Official Video)

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