"Wet Animal"


01. Soul Alone
02. Lost in My Head
03. Outside a Hole
04. Left Behind
05. Land Mines
06. Don't Put Me Down
07. Fade Away
08. Nomads Land
09. Wreathe of the Roses
10. Relentless

RATING: 6.5/10

Nice name, eh? Formed in 1995 by TROUBLE guitarist Rick Wartell, the debut album from Chicago's WET ANIMAL now sees a 2005 release. Along with Shane Pasqualla (vocals/guitar), Jeff "Oly" Olson (drums), and Michael "Vito" Diprima (bass), the band has created a respectable hard rock album with cutting riffs and competent hooks.

It is difficult not to think about ALICE IN CHAINS when listening to the disc, but that is primarily a result of Pasqualla's very Staley-like vocal approach and the occasional misery-riddled edge and doomy riff. There is a bit of the AIC guitar tone on songs like "Soul Alone", "Lost in My Head", and "Outside a Hole", though it is not dominant. The material is not nearly as drug addled or despondent either; a blues-by-way-of-SABBATH influence can cast a shadow over damn near any rock tune. Furthermore, when a member of TROUBLE is the driving force behind a project, no one should be surprised at the tone and style of the guitars. Anyway, those three songs also happen to be the album's best tracks. The strong grooves, catchy melodies, and hot licks that characterize the album as a whole are most apparent here. Heading back to the '90s Northwest, the acoustic "Left Behind" has a very Seattle/Chris Cornell approach, and is quite likeable.

On the whole, the album flows well and kept my interest. A notable accomplishment is the better than average arrangement variety, enough so that nothing sounds too similar, yet the atmosphere and style never veers outside of a comfortable zone. The sound mix could stand more low-end, but the emphasis on the axe work makes up for it. I'd guess that the live performance puts the studio effort to shame. Even though the styles are not interchangeable, I can see fans of TROUBLE and ALICE IN CHAINS getting at least some level of enjoyment out of WET ANIMAL's self-titled debut.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).