Although they have been around for quite some time, Hidden In Plain View’s latest EP Animal is surprisingly my first time encountering the distinctive rock band. Decorated with pop punk qualities and raw, experimental flares, I’m glad to say that I can’t fit this EP into one specific genre – that’s how it should be with all good music. The word “taste” is the perfect way to describe Hidden In Plain View’s gift of Animal, as it spoon-feeds a surely intriguing teaser to what’s in store for this unique group.
Animal harbors quite a lot of power for only being a three track EP, beginning with “Hunting the Hunter”. Packed with a bit of chaos akin to Dance Gavin Dance, the track is an adventure within itself as the alternative rock groove hits harder and softer sections among a liberating melody. The instrumentals scatter then flow, creating just enough wonder to capture a listener. Most of the memorable moments within the track develop in the sharp and complicated guitar riffs, resulting in a consistently intense and daunting tone to open up Hidden In Plain View’s impressive EP.
“No Way Out” has incredible diversity as the following track, remaining compatible with the band’s instrumental style, but branching out into a more upbeat and bouncy melody. By contrast, the lyrics are on the darker side, speaking of the way life moves on no matter what you do (“I cannot erase / the past it is gone”). The surging refrains give it the lighthearted and appealing elements to convey the complexity of Hidden In Plain View’s style. If anything was missing from these hard-hitting alternative rock tracks, I’d say it’d be a lack of a distinct vocal or melody hook to make their music especially memorable. However, it seems that this band finds attractiveness in their own ways, so I’ll make do with what I have.
Closing with an eight-minute track, Hidden In Plain View continue to appease patient fans. The whispers and crashing style of the raw guitars in the body of “Self Inflicted” remind me of the My Chemical Romance glory days. Once again, their transition from chaotic to clear melody is portrayed flawlessly, especially when completely toning down to provide creeping atmosphere before the chorus crescendo and final, calm ride through the last four minutes of the track. Ambient serenity ends the Animal EP, exposing me to a style of music I’ve never experienced so vividly before. Was it the most life-changing fusion of pop punk and alternative rock I’ve heard in my life? No. But the unique and unidentifiable nature of Hidden In Plain View pops out among the rest, leaving this EP as proof of their irreplaceable talent.