The Band Called Out For More - Gabby Young & Other Animals Album Review
From the opening rousing moments of new single and lead-track "In Your Head", you get the feeling that you're in for a special forty minutes by sprightly self-proclaimed 'circus-swinger' Gabby Young - and you are. Shuffled from a pack that contains Florence, Paloma, Newsom and Kathryn Williams (for the kooky element), "The Band Called Out For More" is thirteen tracks of vibrant pop-swing and vaudeville-operatics that manages to mingle melodies with lyrical hooks, with Young chirruping like an eccentric canary, with just enough of the unique to carry it all through to the end.
For some time now, Gabby Young's 8-piece band have been ripping up the bog-standard conventions of what a live show should sound and look like, with its singer being part of a slowly-growing wave of admired fashionistas and flamboyant performers - and you can hear the colours leap out of this album, so much so that this could almost be animated by Pixar and stored in a jar for parties. Songs like "Open", "Male Version of Me" and that aforementioned opener are prime examples of dabbling in many exotic arts and becoming a bit of a champ at all of them. You can fully appreciate her inclusion at 2012 festivals such as Shambala, Green Man and Secret Garden Party - you might even see her clothing venture, Gabberdashery (like it), on sale there.
As the album progresses past the relatively straight "Walk Away" and the jaunty-jazz joviality of "Clay Heart", you wonder how many facets this lady has. Truth is, we don't know, but there are enough to suggest that the occasional flat moments on this album will be scrubbed out by the time the band take to the stage - and there really aren't that many dull spots here. Just when you think "Horatio" will be a withering fable of gloom, so it soon pipes up with all the Mariachi swagger of a drunken wedding-band on a yawing tall-ship. However, "Honey", "Segment" and "The Answer's In The Question" slow things down at a point when the album needs a shot in the arm, which thankfully comes with the closing title-track.
All in all though, Gabby Young and the Other Animals are a safe bet for giving the likes of Bellowhead a run for their money at festivals and live shows for some time to come. Engaging.