Scranton trio Family Animals to release new record Sept. 30 at O’Leary’s
On their journey to create something completely original, and maybe a bit strange, Family Animals is right on schedule.
The Scranton outfit’s latest album, “Don’t Expect a Climax,” will be released on major digital platforms Saturday, and the group will play an 8 p.m. CD release show at O’Leary’s Pub in Scranton.
A few months shy of two years since their last release, “I Must Have Missed It,” the trio of Anthony Viola, Jesse Viola and Frank DeSando, is meeting a deadline they set for themselves in late 2015.
“From record to record, we have a lot of songs,” said drummer Anthony Viola. “We just really want to have as much music out there as possible so people get the full concept of what we’re trying to do, which is be musically free, in a sense.”
The upcoming record thoughtfully melds elements of rock ‘n’ roll, punk, metal, psychedelia and funk in songs that are not afraid to change chord progressions and tempos several times in one composition.
While tunes like “Category 5 Sexplosion” and “Make It Rain” have a distinct Family Animals sound, the experimental way in which the songs are structured calls to mind some late work by The Beatles, an admitted influence, and the unbound creations of Frank Zappa.
Viola said the diversity and the irreverence toward formula on the new album is a result of having tried different things on previous studio efforts. The band’s first record, he said, drew on reggae, alternative rock and Western influences and took some daring approaches to song construction.
“It was all over the place, which is kind of what we’re all about,” Viola said. “People said, ‘You can’t make ‘The White Album’ on your first try.””
So, for “I Must Have Missed It,” the group took the feedback they received and worked toward something more uniform in terms of finding a sound.
“For ‘I Must Have Missed It,’ we tried to keep to a theme and find some continuity in what we were doing,” Viola said. “In retrospect, I feel it’s a little too murky, too muddy, too dark. This is how you learn hopefully.”
Their latest volume of songs, while being less ambitious on the production end than their eponymous debut — “Don’t Expect a Climax” sticks to the guitar, bass, drums and piano instrumentation the band presents in a live setting — they’ve let song structure take a walk.
“This one has two almost 10-minute songs that change a lot,” Viola said. “It changes a lot, but hopefully has that happy medium, where it has a lot of genres but it’s a fluid-sounding album.”
Mastered by Eric Ritter at the Windmill Agency in Lake Ariel, the record will reach listeners in time for a string of gigs scheduled throughout the fall, including an Oct. 21 performance at The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre.
Family Animals will be joined by Dour and Doghouse Charlie on Saturday at O’Leary’s, and Viola said they are excited to have fellow NEPA artists at their side.
“The night of the release, we will be playing the album in its entirety,” Viola said. “We actually might throw in one, maybe two songs people can expect to hear in the future.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Family Animals CD release show for “Don’t Expect a Climax” with special guests Dour and Doghouse Charlie
Where: O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
For more information or to purchase music visit familyanimals.bandcamp.com. “Don’t Expect a Climax” will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, CD Baby and other major online outlets.