With the greatest of ease, decoration and grit overlap on Plants and Animals’ debut album. Elaborate orchestral movements and feathery pianos meld with driving rock rhythms and George Harrison-esque designs all over Parc Avenue. It’s an excellent blend of rich, acoustic sways, electric grandeur, and a sense of true comradeship in the vocals.
Parc Avenue succeeds as a rare bridge between generations. 70’s rock standards seem to sketch the album’s structure, while everything we’ve learned since fills the space. Buzzing guitars and unusually quick drums give it a distinct "now" feel, while the chugging tempos recall a lot of the epic rock from thirty years ago. The opening "Bye Bye Bye" is an acoustic-based bar jam with backing vocals that evokes Beatle-infused anthems. "Good Friend" coasts along a sneaky shuffle before giving into inspired string inflections. Tracks like the cool back porch ballad "À L’orée Des Bois" and the gospel-on-fire "Mercy" show the wide range that Plants and Animals have between softer melancholy and louder feel-good tracks.
For a debut, Parc Avenue is extremely well-developed both within the songs and as a whole. It’s complex and inspiring at times and calm and soothing at others, and the band’s ability to pick these moments is impressive.