Well it’s finally here-the new Animal CD, “Violent New Breed”. After two interviews with Randy and one with Chris, you know all artists try to build up their product and say it’s the best thing they ever did. First off Randy and Chris are a pleasure to talk to and they give it to you in a way that makes you feel as though you’re their best friend. I consider both Randy and Chris friends, but that does not affect the way we will review their material. If it sucks, it sucks. If it’s good, it’s good. I was not sure what to expect after the release of the last CD “900LBS Steam”, but as you can read in our interview that CD was just a demo and released as such. Let’s get to the packaging before checking the music.
The product comes with an outer box sleeve which the jewel case slides out of, an eight-page booklet with all the words, and one photo attached to the back part of the jewel case. At first glance the picture of Randy brings memories back of the vintage W.A.S.P. days, but how is the music? We are going to break down the songs one by one and see if they can match some of the answers Randy gave us in the interview. Check out the interview for his comments on each song.
“Violent New Breed” I’m going to have to say his answer is right on the mark as being a good song for a ‘Van Helsing’ movie. The music and vocals are vicious. The levels of high points attack your nervous system and Randy’s guitar playing pummels your eardrums. Great song.
“Morning After” is one of the best tracks on the release. The music just rocks, and the classic W.A.S.P. - like sound is released.
“Hey You” is anthem rock and the guitar fucking kicks ass. The harmonies and background vocals are perfect, and if Animal makes it to arenas I can just see the whole crowd singing along to this one.
“Eye of the Storm” is evil unleashed in mayhem of vocal styles. This is in-your-face, “bring it” rock n roll… unbelievable track.
“Turn and Walk Away” Animal gets mellow with a ballad and a subtle hint of keyboards by Anders Ringman; this song just shows the versatility by Rich Lewis and a sensitive side to the band.
“Animal in Me” starts off like music in a haunted house. Blackie Lawless should be envious of Lewis as he possesses better pipes. This is a good track: not one of my favorites, but the guitar work by Piper exceeds my expectations. This would be a good soundtrack for the “Saw” movies.
“Hellchild” Randy says this is Chris Laney’s child. I hate to keep comparing but fuck Blackie: Animal is the future and W.A.S.P. is the past. This is a killer tune and anyone who likes the classic early W.A.S.P. has to get this CD. The bouncing rhythms and power that come out on each song are phenomenal. Randy and Chris kick it up a notch on this one and when those eerie keyboards come into play this is a high point.
Randy says this is his favorite song and I am gong to have to agree with him. I have listened to the CD over and over again and “Salt” just wreaks havoc on your mind. I would buy this CD just for this song. Rich Lewis starts off with raw, slow vocals and elevates to great heights. The harmonies give me chills. PLEASE, PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS SONG- it fucking rules!!! Randy and Chris add the screaming guitar, and with the
aggressive pounding rhythm of the bass by Jackie Livengood it makes this one my highlight track.
“In The Mirror” is a fair song- not one of my favorites, and kind of gets lost in the mix of power.
B.O.O.M. has lots of distortion and aggressive playing.
Well, there you have it. I have to say the loss of Chris Holmes is not the best thing, but with Chris Laney replacing Holmes it makes Animal that much better and brings a plus to the music and songwriting. The songs are catchy, melodic and aggressive. The guitar playing is unbelievable, and if you love in-your-face metal with big-time anthem sounds, act like an Animal and pick this one up you will not be disappointed. Go right to track eight and blast that shit!!!
- Rich Lewis - Vocals
- Randy Piper - Guitar
- Chris Laney - Guitar
- Jackie Livengood - Bass
- Johan Koleberg - Drums
- Violent New Breed
- Morning After
- Hey You
- Eye of the Storm
- Turn and Walk Away
- Animal in Me
- Hell Child
- In The Mirror