Animal Friend (Trails)

Crank this to 8.5 of 11

Released: 2015

Genre: Hardcore

Sounds Like: Strife, The Hope Conspiracy

It can be extremely difficult to find some unusual bands in the saturated world of hardcore. Many acts today sound too similar to one another, therefore watering down a genre that we have always loved. However, when we find a fresh band that captures our attention, we jump all over it. Welcome Animal Friend, hailing from California and their debut EP Trails. First off, the album cover and the odd name of the band drew us in, and from there we were hooked. This EP is basically hardcore by nature, yet they throw in some well-timed Post-hardcore themes to set them apart, creating an interesting and somewhat distinctive listening experience.


Opening the EP is “Blue Dolphin” and this will pretty much tell you what you’re in for. The vocals of Hans Penner are gruff and throaty, typical of this genre, and well done. He often brings down the vocals to a spoken word style, creating a welcome contrast. The next track “Psychic Rift” offers great drumming with infectious cymbal work and classic start-stop action. “Demise” takes us into an early 90’s hardcore feel, it’s short and gets right to the point, gearing us up for more. The last song “Writer’s Block” is fist-pumping, mosh pit styled hardcore that will knock you into next week, a great song to have us wanting more.


Band Members:

Hans Penner: Vocals

Aaron Howles: Guitar

Tyler Lampman: Drums

Reese Cawley: Bass


Track Listing:

1. Blue Dolphin 02:55

2. Psychic Rift 03:12

3. Demise 02:31

4. Writer's Block 03:51


Animal Friend is an exciting new band and supposedly this album was recorded in 17 hours, which is very impressive. We like the fact they are all business and there is no time wasting filler experimental crap here. Seek these guys out, they add just a little something new to the hardcore genre.


Standout Tracks: Psychic Rift, Demise


Follow Animal Friend: Bandcamp / Facebook


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