Ten Minute Turns is really a two-headed animal; guitarist Alan Foreman and bassist Roger Mason write, arrange, record, and produce their songs together, helping make Sad Animals a consistently winning listening experience. The duo trade vocals off and on, often in the same song; they both have a great ear for melodies and hooks.
The album’s percussion is consistently intriguing — drums are enhanced with hand-claps, finger-snaps, jittery cymbal flourishes, and sometimes the rhythm section sounds like Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids were backing them up, like they raided a junkyard and banged on metal trash cans and empty pipes. The production is polished and playful, with subtle layers of drum loops and sound effects that deserve multiple listenings.
The album’s highlights are many: “C.A.R.L.” is a delightfully quirky pop tune built on a foundation of melodica and Casio-keyboard rhythms that features a fantastic, soaring chorus; “Since You Haven’t Been Around” is a building, muscular rock song, complete with singalong “oh, oh”’s in the chorus; “Calm” nicely recalls Modern English’s “Melt With You,” with its heavy synths and acoustic strums; and “Made Up Dreams” starts out quietly before building into a booming, anthemic, sturm-und-drang chorus.
Stand-out tracks are “Red Light Room,” a breakbeat heavy singalong and the immediate classic title track “Sad Animals,” a bouncy pop tune with a crashing rhythm section, wild horn accompaniment,
and a catchy-as-heck chorus.
Give Sad Animals a few listens and you’ll be hungry for more from Ten Minute Turns.