Animal Party, a San Francisco based rock band led by lead singer, keyboardist, and guitarist Kiyoshi Foster, exceeds any musical expectations with flying colors, producing an artistically beautiful, well-written, enticing album. Kiyoshi Foster’s Tranquilizer made Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of 2011. To witness Animal Party’s Walk On Stars make the 2013 list would not be a far-fetched prediction. Supported by the popular Kickstarter program, this record is a collection of distinctive songs, each one clearly written with a master craftsmanship straight from the individual hearts of these fabulous musicians. The group’s passion can nearly be felt through the speakers as the album blasts with creative genius, each song separate, mysterious, and pulled together into a perfectly assembled masterpiece, much like the stars laid out against the night sky’s velvety black canvas.
Walk On Stars starts out strong with its self-titled opening track, “Animal Party.” The intro consists of an unbelievably groovy bass line, gritty vocals that are melodic but oh-so rock ‘n’ roll, and a keyboard part that just makes one want to dance; the song is catchy in every way and ends on an equally intriguing note, with a trippy faded ending, leaving the listener with no choice but to stay tuned in for the remainder of the album. “The Sun Will Rise” is an upbeat song made wonderful by a thrashing drum set, perfectly played guitar licks, riffs, and solos, and a complementary bass part that stands out amongst the focal instruments and holds its own, gaining equal and well-deserved appreciation. “Easy Wave” has a warmer, mellow feel, with lyrics like “Keep my cool / Carry my cares away / Song and dance ‘till I / See the light of day / Ridin’ on this easy wave.” This easy-going impression is carried to the next track entitled “Getaway Car,” with its summery vibe and a fitting carefree story of a wild and rule-free road trip – “Getaway car / Electric guitar / Taking off in our getaway car.” “Gates of Hell” follows suit with a saxophone to set the tone and a tortured, wailing guitar accompanied by suffering lyrics like “I’m going down, down, down / To the gates of hell / I’m gonna find the truth about the wishing well.”
Within the first half of the album, the group has already showcased its variety, talent, and potential for some mass-audience appeal. The sixth track, “Interlude,” is exactly that – an extremely short song of eccentric instrumentals and an indescribable sound, strategically placed as if its purpose is to sum up the eclectic mix of tracks heard on the first half of the record. Much like the interlude of a play, it provides a clean mental break and yet is arguably one of the most stimulating and enchanting tracks on the record thus far, despite its length and probable purpose.
“Your Heart (Needs To Be Free)” captures the title in its musical essence – it’s completely heartwarming, smooth, and casually effortless, much like an easy Sunday morning. Once again, the album takes another unexpected and brilliant turn with “One Soft Kiss,” a sensitive and passionate song with lyrics that poetically speak what the song itself naturally conveys – “You make me soft / I’m so afraid if I push you / You’ll only float away / But you know that I love you / Even if you make me wait / Because all it takes / Is one more try / One soft kiss / You can dry my eye / You know I made / A sacrifice / A simple twist / You make me soft.” “Walk On Stars,” which claims the title of the record, has a name that is beautiful on its own; however, once the song begins to play, its loveliness continues to grow. One can’t help but fall in love with its unique sound and lyrics as charming as “You better I see your sundress / Walk on stars with me.” The final track, “Heart To Heart,” has a folk sound adorned with keyboards, acoustic guitars, and a country root-fifth underlying bass pattern. The record comes to a close with the lyrics, “All that time / In her mind / She was knocking at my door / And I would not let her in / Heart to heart / I remember she was walking / Hair coming down / And the rain was washing / The whole fucking town.”
Animal Party shines with undeniable talent, flourishing and blossoming with their debut record. Walk On Stars is an album well worth listening to, written by a group to be artistically admired by music enthusiasts alike. Animal Party is a group to be spotted and recognized amongst the stars.
The Review: 9.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Animal Party
– The Sun Will Rise
– Easy Wave
– Getaway Car
– Walk On Stars
The Big Hit
– Walk On Stars
Review by Jill Jacobs