Release DetailsLABEL Escapi Music
RELEASED ON 10/18/2005
posted on 11/2005 By:
In an era when metal bands are judged by the harshness of their lead singer’s vocals and complexity of rhythm, ex-Trouble guitarist/songwriter Rick Wartell returns to a simpler, more melodic sound with his new project, Wet Animal.
To be fair, this is neither a side project nor a solo offering. Wet Animal is four guys dedicated to one vision. How we as listeners interpret that vision will decide the album’s personal value to each and every one of us, so let us go through the possibilities…
I will argue that more than half of you readers will love this album as much as I did. Alice in Chains comparisons aside, Wet Animal is unique; melodic without being pussy, just heavy enough to be reviewed at a metal site, but with a talent for softer, more emotionally driven songs. I had a hard time reviewing this album because I couldn’t get past the first song, “Lost in My Head.” Absolutely addicted to the chorus, and already enamored with singer/guitarist and Layne Staley sound-alike Shane Pasqualla’s voice, I played that song on repeat at least three or four times before I moved on. I think I was afraid that was as good as it was going to get. I was wrong. There’s an attention paid to the power of each note and chord that makes me believe that these guys have a respect for the value of diversity on a metal/hard-rock album. This is one of the few hard-rock albums that I could listen to all the way through without falling asleep somewhere along the line.
The one thing that prevents this album from reaching classic debut status is the fact that there are some definite gems and some definite snoozers, and that’s where I see some readers complaining. On any hard-rock album that flirts with metal, song-writing is going to be key, and while Wartell and his band mates are capable of producing a few of 2005’s best tracks (see “Fade Away” and “Left Behind”), songs like “Don’t Put Me Down” merely recycle riffs that have become hard-rock staples. Hardly exciting, and certainly not worthy of being on the same album as a track like “Lost in My Head.”
For fans of Alice in Chains and those with the same addiction for “dirty” melody, buying Wet Animal’s debut is a no-brainer. There aren’t many bands producing this kind of music anymore, so the fact that there’s very little competition should be enough to persuade you. Those that are capable of digging more of a hard rock sound should visit the group’s website and listen to the three sample tracks before putting any real money down on this self-titled debut. I personally loved this album. It’s both car-friendly, when flying down the freeway, and appropriate for personal listening, when you just want to chill out. Best of all, it’s honest, passionate, melodic, and heavy. Cheers to Wartell and gang.
Register to post comments.