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Pattern-Seeking Animals biography
A Los Angeles-based rock project PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS were founded as another brainchild by current & former Spock's Beard members Ted LEONARD (guitars, voices), Jimmy KEEGAN (drums, voices), and Dave MEROS (bass) as well as a long-time contributing songwriter / producer / keyboardist John BOEGEHOLD for "producing music that's progressive and intricate while keeping things immediate and melodic" according to John's words. In early 2018 he's been working for some material, that could see the light in collaboration with three Spockers, apparently drawing on a few different musical influences and using some contemporary production ideas and sounds that he probably wouldn't use with Spock's Beard for various reasons. Their debut album crystallized with the "ideas and sounds" was released in July 2019 under the eponymous title.

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3.79 | 58 ratings
Pattern-Seeking Animals
3.79 | 42 ratings
Prehensile Tales

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Prehensile Tales by PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.79 | 42 ratings

Prehensile Tales
Pattern-Seeking Animals Crossover Prog

Review by NickCrimsonII

3 stars The second album from Pattern-Seeking Animals is now available for people to enjoy! Turns out the band's promise to release an album a year might be kept, as this is the members' side project. I must say that I was disappointed by the first album - it didn't feel quite complete and I did not spend too much time with it, just to revise it again upon the release of 'Prehensile Tales', and to discover that I still do not enjoy it that much.

Now, about this album: Raining Hard In Heaven opens up with this groovy and super catchy bass line, and continues to unfold in a very poppy way, which is obviously what the band's trying to achieve - to mix accessible sounds with more adventurous song structures. Not sure if I enjoy the chorus as much as the verse. The song goes through an instrumental mid-section that is quite reminiscent of the Spock's Beard releases from the last decade, and this is bot bad at all!

Next up on the track list is Here In My Autumn. Which is almost like a logical continuation of the previous track, pretty similar song structure, even the lengths are almost the same. Not a bad track, as well, I must say. The third song is probably my favorite on this album - and so far, my favorite song from the band's catalogue. It is the track that best encapsulates the philosophy and the main idea of P-SA: to write prog-pop numbers with adventurous instrumentation and catchy hooks.

Elegant Vampires is undoubtedly the most memorable and enjoyable track for me. Also, so far the first three tracks were all released as singles which is a bit strange given that the album is just 6 tracks. It is kind of disappointing to know what half of the record sounds like before being released. However, Elegant Vampires - fantastic track!

Next up is another shorter song - Why Don't We Run. It sets an interesting mood although it is a bit different from what came before it and from what will come after it. Not too much to say about it, upon several listenings, it is my least favorite song. Then it comes - the 17-minute Lifeboat - the song that should be teasing prog fans and scaring the ones who turn to P-SA for more accessible songs. Usually, the first question I ask myself when listening to such a large chunk of music is - is it worth the time? Does the song provide the epic feel, the dynamics, the pay-off that one expects from a seventeen-minute piece. Well, in this case, the band really managed to make a really enjoyable song with a couple of surprises throughout, the best of which is the sax that really elevated the song's experience for me. A chunky guitar solo from Leonard was also lovely to hear, a bit of mellotron and violin, too. Great chorus, and intelligent lyrics. Definitely beautiful track that I feel would also fit perfectly in an SB album, if they were to release one this year!

Finally, we arrive at the 12-minute Soon But Not Today, the album closer. This song continues the spirit of all the rest that came before it, combining the playful tones of the first three songs in the first six minutes and some 70s symphonic rock melodies in its second half.Another enjoyable one and a proper finish that also leaves an open end for the band to continue.

Great vocal performance by Leonard throughout this whole thing, his voice really seems to get better with age, and also really strong backing vocals from Keegan, and a super tasty bass tone of Meros! What is there to say about the instrumentation? The band members are well-known and experienced masters of their instruments, maybe Boegehold's abilities were more unknown but are no less great than the other members'.

'Prehensile Tales' is a much more sonically organised and concentrated album than its predecessor. This time the band manages to create a sonic experince that is captivating but also enjoyable throughout the whole time.

3.5/5 stars seems like a reasonable rating of this record, leaving myself a curiosity and a wish that the band can top it, continuing the positive progression of their releases!

 Prehensile Tales by PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.79 | 42 ratings

Prehensile Tales
Pattern-Seeking Animals Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Pattern-Seeking Animals is an impressive new band, that technically isn't "new" in the sense of how you would typically think of it, even though they were initiated in 2018. Three of the members of the band were members of "Spock's Beard"; Ted Leonard, (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Keegan (drums, voices), and Dave Meros (bass) who were joined by contributing songwriter John Boegehold (keyboards), who also brings in his own influences to the musical stew. They released their acclaimed, self-titled, debut album in 2019 and quickly followed this up with the excellent "Prehensile Tales" in May of 2020.

Once again, the band hits the ground running with this album, beginning with the perfect opening "Raining Hard in Heaven", a progressive and powerful 8+ minute track that will grab your attention right away. All of the musicians shine while none take the "limelight", but instead provide equal opportunity for each one of them to prove their strength as an entire group. This track is one of the highlights for the album. At this point, the band moves into a more accessible style with three less progressive (yet equally satisfying, nonetheless) tracks that keep your interest as the album continues. This includes the considerably catchy "Elegant Vampires" which leaves you with a memorable groove and engaging vocals and melody.

At this point, the album returns to a more progressive stance as two more highlights close off the album. These are the exceptional "Lifeboat" at over 17 minutes, and the excellent and emotional 12 minute closer "Soon But Not Today". Both of these tracks would definitely fit comfortably on a 5 star album as both of them are amazing kaleidoscopes of dynamics, tempo and meter shifts and well-constructed tracks. This is a perfect way to end this album.

So, as it would seem, the longer tracks are the better ones and these all open and close the album, and on their own would merit 5-star compositions. It's the middle three tracks that tend to make the album lose a bit of progressive steam, even though as just regular tracks, are still pretty great. But sadly, they bring down the overall score of the album in a progressive sense. Because of the best tracks, which easily take up 's of the album, this is definitely an album that should not be ignored, and that is from a person that is not a big fan of Spock's Beard (mostly because I don't care for Neal Morse's vocals that much). Overall, I consider this a 4 star album, but have to round it down to 4 in the end. However, I still would encourage everyone to listen because the high points do make up most of the album and they are excellent "highs".

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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