Album review: PATTERN SEEKING ANIMALS – Prehensile Tales


Inside Out [Release date 15.05.20]

Pattern-Seeking Animals were formed by producer and writer John Boegehold (synths, keyboards) teaming up with current members of Spock’s Beard – Ted Leonard (vocals, guitar) and Dave Meros (bass) – plus former Spock’s Beard member Jimmy Keegan (drums, vocals).

The band’s ear for catchy melodies is something else, be it the Beatles like vocals and arrangements on ‘Here In My Autumn’ or the Middle Eastern backing on ‘Why Don’t We Run’, which by the song’s end has included a trumpet solo.

The two epic pieces end the six song album. As a side note, interesting tracking order with the two seven/eight minute songs starting the album off, followed by two four minute pop songs if you will and then these two epics.

‘Lifeboat’ is a tale of a man caught at sea on a drowning ship and his thoughts at the time and his life leading up to it. The song features atmospherics throughout created mainly through the synths and Hammond playing of John Boegehold. Shades of Kansas at times, and plenty to discover on each subsequent listen be it the trumpet parts or the pounding bass lines of Dave Meros. One of those epic songs with a strong storyline and musical variety to keep the listener engaged and thinking.

‘Soon But Not Today’ is slightly shorter at twelve minutes, mixing funky and reggae breaks (reminiscent of the Police), along with a bit of swing in the chorus. Sounds like it shouldn’t work but it does. All that and they manage a bit of a Brian May/Queen guitar solo and pomptastic Beatles like finale.

Considering Pattern-Seeking Animals only delivered their highly praised debut less than a year ago, the fact that the follow up is as good as that album (possibly with time better than?), shows they are a band on a roll and with no shortage of musical ideas. An album of the year contender with ease.  ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

John Boegehold answers a few questions about the new album and future touring plans…

Were the band pleased with the reaction to your debut album?

So far the reaction has been really good which we’re happy with. While you’re recording an album and have little or no outside input, it’s difficult to be objective and you really have no idea how it’ll be received once it’s released.

‘Prehensile Tales’ has come along very quickly – less than a year since the debut was released. How do the band keep coming up with new song ideas and music?

Fortunately, I don’t often suffer from writers block and usually write every day so I can come up with a lot of material in a relatively short time.  Also, there were no schedule conflicts with anyone in the band so things went smoothly. The challenge was that because the second album is coming out so soon after the first, we wanted to make it so it didn’t sound like it was just more material from the first album sessions.  All the material for this album is brand new, no holdovers.

‘Lifeboat’ is an epic piece. When this was being created, does it start off as being a long piece of music or is it a case of gelling together a few musical ideas to create it?

Lifeboat started as a shorter song, primarily about a guy on a ship that sinks. When I started writing it and had a rough song structure, it was about five minutes long. But just when I thought it was about finished, I started thinking it might be interesting to go into his life leading up to the ship going down and his struggle with questions of faith and possible afterlife as his fate unfolds. What started off being a relatively short song eventually ended up quite a bit longer.

The album sees trumpets, jazz, little bit of soul – lots of musical ideas. Is this a pool of the band’s collective influences or perhaps more wanting to progress the music and challenge yourselves with each new album?

Not so much to challenge ourselves as much as we wanted to try a few different approaches and styles not normally found in prog. I love music from all around the world so I found myself referencing a few different ethnic sounds and instrumental approaches. We also added additional instruments like violin, flute, trumpet, sax, etc.

Although touring is curtailed for now, are there any plans to take Pattern-Seeking Animals out on the road?

We had been scheduled to play our first gig at RoSfest in Florida in May this year and had been preparing a live show until it was canceled. We were also talking with some other venues and festivals about doing other gigs later in the year but now everything is on hold so we’re waiting it out to see how everything plays out.

What are the plans for Spock’s Beard for 2020 and beyond?

I have no idea. I’m not in the band and haven’t heard anything about their future plans.

Do  you have a message for your fans?

Thanks for all of your support! When all of this pandemic madness calms down and bands can start playing shows again we’d love to get over to that side of the world and play some live dates!

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 7 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 26 January 2021.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 RADAR Lost In The Atlantic (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 DURBIN The Beast Awakens (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN – The Darkest Days Are The Brightest (InsideOut Music)

Power Plays w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)


ALLY VENABLE Road To Nowhere

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts, INTERVIEWS, Interviews/Rock Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply