There’s a band in Philadelphia called Piranha Petting Zoo, and they play psych rock mixed with all of the genres you’d expect from new music in this genre. This somewhat mysterious band released their first album on April 1st, a 5 track effort dubbed The Gods Are Hangry.
About The Gods Are Hangry
I couldn’t find out much about Piranha Petting Zoo, as I couldn’t locate any social media accounts connected to them; this is particularly odd given that it’s 2023 and everybody and their mother utilizes at least one of the major sites. I actually like that they don’t use them, as it allows them to keep the mystery that has all but disappeared with the advent of the internet and its plethora of social media sites. It also allows them to let their music do the talking, so with that, let’s talk about their music!
These 5 tracks were improvised and recorded in the studio, giving them a loose, flowing jam band feel, a fact that is evident from the onset of the very first track, “Four Twenty.”
1. Four Twenty
Piranha Petting Zoo gets us going with a slick, laid-back drum and bass groove that slowly incorporates the guitars. This creates a sense of anticipation, building up to a crescendo that doesn’t happen; it does pick up in a few spots but never reaches the heights I was eager for. Beyond the jam band feel is a reggae vibe, it’s a small part of the song, but it adds a cool twist to the track.
2. Dom Jomson
This one was much better than its predecessor before the first minute was even up. PPZ seemed more intent on filling up space this time, but not to the point where they added too much of anything. The loose flow is present, yet it suffers from the same issue as the first track; there just isn’t a peak that would push this song over the top and into the grander territory; this feels like a missed opportunity.
3. Da Riptitty Blues
This is the best track of the first three. PPZ utilizes sounds that take them into King Buffalo territory yet retains that jam feel that is inescapable when recording improvised music. There are also peaks and valleys to be heard here, which puts “Da Riptitty Blues” at the top of the pile.
4. Diddler on the Roof
I like the twisting of the movie title for Fiddler on the Roof, which was the first thing that grabbed my attention when initially looking at the track list. The music comes in with the jazzy, controlled chaos that so many enjoy, with it being the second thing I paid attention to. Their chaotic sound persisted throughout the entirety of the song and then finally reached the crescendo that I’d been waiting for during the last minute of the song!
5. (Another) Murder in the Desert
We’ve come to the album’s last song, which is definitely what we come to expect from Piranha Petting Zoo. I like how the band slowly raises the intensity before reaching the plateau that they ride until the outro, which is the section that brings us down gently before letting us go.
I like that Piranha Petting Zoo doesn’t let Facebook posts be the identity of their band; this is a rarity in this day and age, a breath of fresh air in a land cluttered with troll comments and other assorted stupidity. As far as the music goes, it is an enjoyable listen perfect for background while doom scrolling through Facebook and whatnot. I won’t say that this is the best album of the month, but it is a solid effort for Piranha Petting Zoo to build upon and grow with.
Support Piranha Petting Zoo by finding them on Bandcamp.
This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now-defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.
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