Exceptionalism is a word that is seldom used lightly. It’s rarely found in documents, works of literature, or articles. However, it’s going to be used in this one because it is one of the only words that can properly amass to the brilliance that is Post Animal. It’s by no means a secret that the music industry is incredibly saturated with a myriad of artists – and this is by no means a bad thing – but it does mean that it can be a bit more difficult to stand out from a sonic standpoint. This is one of the most exceptional aspects of Post Animal’s music – it is so clearly unlike anything anyone has ever heard before. And yes, that’s a big claim, but it’s a claim worth making because there’s a truth to it. In their existing body of work, Post Animal has excelled in taking electrifying elements of rock, the smooth and swirling components of psychedelia, and adding their own magic and charisma to create the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll cocktail that keeps listeners coming back from another round.
Post Animal’s rise has been completely meteoric. They captivated Chicago’s attention after playing a gig at Chop Shop opening for The Orwells in late summer of 2016, and since then they began appearing in lineups for gigs all around the city: with Summer Salt and The Walters at Lincoln Hall, Twin Peaks and Nobunny at Thalia Hall, alongside Wavves completing a nationwide tour, and the like. There’s no need to continue the list when the point is clear: Post Animal has taken off at an impressive rate, and deservedly so.
With technology being as advanced as it is, it’s now easier than ever for any band to record a decent set of songs. However, half the battle lies within transmitting these songs from the studio to the stage. Often times this is an endeavor that can fall flat, as the essence that was emulated within the recording process either doesn’t translate well or isn’t conducive to live performance. This is a pitfall Post Animal evades by a wide margin, as their skill, innovation, and unrivaled energy is only amplified during their live performances.
Live, Post Animal is an absolute force of nature. There’s simply no other way to describe it. They exude a level of exuberance that only they could, and as a result their performances are totally spellbinding. Due to its nuanced and intricate nature, it’s apparent that Post Animal puts forth an immense amount of dedication and effort into their music. At the time of writing, I have seen Post Animal live six times, and not once has their performance ever dipped below superb. Consistency is a gateway to success in essentially any context, and Post Animal’s live performances are consistently spectacular. In fact, as they continue to grow as artists and performers, they’re only going to get better. For a band whose starting level was quite impressive in itself, Post Animal is well on their way into reaching stratospheric heights.
If that wasn’t enough of a testimony to Post Animal’s tenacity and excellence live, then this will be: the band recently announced on their Instagram page that vocalist/guitarist Javier Reyes had a stroke while performing onstage during their current tour with White Reaper. In the post, they wrote that Reyes continued to play through the remainder of their set, stuck around to watch White Reaper’s, and then did stage dive – all before going to the hospital. This is legendary; this is a superhuman act in every essence of the word, and the fact that Reyes persisted through what was surely a frightening experience speaks volumes about his own dedication and grit, and it is these qualities that make Post Animal transcendent of the norm. (Writer’s note: Javier, on behalf of everyone at Chicago Music Guide, we wish you a safe and quick recovery!)
A unique aspect of Post Animal’s music is that each and every track contains its own individualized form of raw magnificence. “When I Get Home” is an effortless embodiment of this. Ethereal and yet totally hard core, Post Animal displays their clear and masterful achievement for using sound in such a distinctive manner that it creates an effect that is both entrancing and invigorating. These qualities only become even more palpable when performed live, and it falls nothing short purely enchanting.
Of a similar vein is “Swamp Fruit,” the delicate resonance that kicks off the track transforms into a delightfully gritty whirlwind of swells, swirls, and psychedelia absolutely effortlessly. It’s exciting, wielding insane amounts of power within all of its sonic nuances. Within this lies the innate and undeniable brilliance of Post Animal – each and every song to their name is deeply layered and multifaceted, and the stylistic transitions within the songs are made with a level of ease that can only point to skill and professionalism as its source.
So rarely does a band come along that embodies true magic. Post Animal, however, is one of those bands. They are one of those bands through and through.
Post Animal is Dalton Allison, Javier Reyes, Matt Williams, Jake Hirshland, and Wesley Toledo. To learn more about the band, click here to visit their Bandcamp page.