Ian Grindstaff hails from Decatur, Illinois. It was there that he made several recordings and started working on the gems within Animotion – songs he crafted in their entirety and performed instrumentally. At 17. Not bad for a flat land country boy. Perhaps, all the creativity and work was spurred on by the fact that his former band mates didn’t jump on board for his style. Well that’s their loss. The sound is dreamy and underground with some experimental tendencies not unlike such contemporaries as Incubus, MuteMath, and Temper Trap.
“Listening” starts out with distorted delivery on the vocals and then cleans it up when the band brings in the drive, trebles realigned and crescendo in full swing. It serves as an album introduction naturally segueing into “Nobody Knows.” Contemplative strumming and the odd sampling of a baby crying. It’s clear this artist is down to go with whatever he thinks of next.
On “Far Away From Here” there’s a clean and yet dirty feel to it that goes in and out of each, and a nice progression, with some interesting passing tones. “Look Up” feels a bit industrial with the static fuzz and plinking. Things settle down shortly and start switching up the meter. For the better? Jury’s out on that one. “New Parts” has a Foo Fighters vibe for sure, borrowing a sound that sort of plays within their old and new albums. The vocals glisten the most on this one, the drums kept at a hollow frenetic pitter-patter.
One thing that holds back the album is the production. The record is beyond lo-fi and better recording would have helped the emotional impact of some of the songs. A lot of the song have a blaring high end that leaves your ears ringing.
This album is a great effort from a talented wanderer. There are stories in this guy’s head and I’m sure he’s had years with them sitting in his head, just waiting to unleash on a record. Help this guy out and take a closer look at Animotion. It’s not top 40 but it’s real and definitely different.
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