PLANTS AND ANIMALS play Lee’s Palace April 21. See listing. Rating: NNN
On their third album, Montreal classic rock revisionists Plants and Animals tone down their jammy tendencies to focus on the songs, which makes it their most accessible recording yet. The newfound restraint also drains the energy, though given how much of the lyrics deal with watching your friends grow up and settle down, the weariness seems appropriate.
The End Of That is deliberately under-produced, attempting a live-off-the-floor feel. While this allows some of the amazingly gooey fuzz guitar to sizzle with detail, other moments sound like rough sketches of what could have been some great indie Americana.
When they loosen up on songs like Crisis!, they evoke Pavement covering Tom Petty in the best way possible. It's never a bad thing to be concise in your songcraft, but this album reveals that Plants And Animals are best when not over-thinking things.
Top track: Crisis!