The most obvious comparisons one can make to Ferocious Eagle are ’80s Sonic Youth (think pre-Daydream Nation) and older Modest Mouse (This is a Long Drive For Someone With Nothing to Think About). The guitars are noodley, the drumming is loose and the vocals are spastic and ever so whacky. What separates Ferocious Eagle from those other two bands, however, is their songs’ brevity — only a third of the tracks here make it past the two-and-a-half minute mark. A few of the tracks benefit from such restraint, as the album’s opener/title track is a tight and grungy ditty. Most of the time, though, the short songs end without really going anywhere.
The Sea Anemone Inside of Me is Mighty is best summed up by track two, “Dinosaur.” It’s just over two minutes long, and crams a decent amount of no wave-style rocking (plus handclaps!). But the song has no purpose. Its sole lines, “There’s a man with a plan and he’s leaning on me,” mean nothing. The thrashing that follows said lines is barely compelling. It could certainly pass for a Sonic Youth song, but a piss poor one. If Ferocious Eagle aren’t going to bother improving their minimalist approach to lyrics, the least they can do is cook up a decent instrumental. Track after track here repeats the same sloppy post-punk formula. From “Dinosaur” all the way to album closer “I Just Don’t Care,” there’s little variation or improvement.
Well, okay, there is one song that deviates from the formula: “Be Not Weary, Be Not Weak.” Although it begins with the same no wave formula, the song switches over to a gentler style 30 seconds in. It’s much more reminiscent of The Weakerthans or Death Cab For Cutie. It’s a slightly refreshing reprieve from the wall of noise present on the rest of The Sea Anemone Inside of Me is Mighty, and it even comes complete with a full set of lyrics. There are even verses! They detail a holy vision with Jesus Christ about life and death, which is trippy in its own way. After Christ tells his tale, Ferocious Eagle proceed to rock out and actually do so kind of well.
What ruins The Sea Anemone Inside of Me is Mighty is its thrown-together feel. Sure, the production is great, and the band plays with conviction, but the songwriting could use some more effort. Ferocious Eagle just need to try just a scootch bit harder. Tunes like “Dinosaur,” and especially all of tracks eight through 11, sound less like songs and more like practice sessions, ideas waiting to form.