Review: The Baby Animals ‘This Is Not The End’
Right from the moment when Suze DeMarchi first unleashes her voice on the rock’n’rolling, guitar-throbbing and fury-charged “Email” – the opening track of Baby Animals’ new album “This Is Not The End” – I found myself sitting up in my chair and doing my best Keanu Reeves’ “whoa”. Few things in music get to me as much as a really good rock vocalist, and DeMarchi has that kind of grand, velvet-and-rust rock’n’roll voice that just grabs your attention and grips your heart.
Put that together with a rock-solid band playing a stack of pure and powerful tunes that just bring it on – heavy enough to move you, and lit up from within by the poetry and emotion of the lyrics – and you have something really special.
Baby Animals made a splash at home in Australia, as well as abroad, with their self-titled debut album back in 1991. After that, they toured with the likes of Bryan Adams, Robert Plant and Van Halen, released a second album in 1993, and then disbanded in 1996. The band reformed in 2007, and after some lineup changes (losing original drummer Frank Celenza and bass-player Eddie Parise) the band is now back with “This Is Not The End”.
So many tunes stand out for me on this album that it’s hard to pick a favorite. There’s the pure rocking passion of “Under Your Skin” – its raw edge tempered by hurt and sadness; the wistfulness of “Stitch” – one of the most beautiful tunes here – with DeMarchi’s voice alternately tender and scarred, soaring and plaintive; and the superb “Invisible Dreamer”, starting off with a soft and shimmery intro before it gains speed and force from the power of Dave Leslie’s guitar.
“Warm Bodies” is another standout , full of longing and heart-ache and with some of the album’s most poignant lyrics: “don’t be afraid your life will end, be afraid it won’t begin”; while “Things That Make You Stay” is a fabulous rough-and-tough rocker, heated up by some gorgeous guitar and bass.
Baby Animals show their strength throughout the entire album, turning it up a notch with the hard-rocking “Got It Bad” (“you can’t swallow your dreams without getting high”), a track that flashes with juiced-up drumming and even more bass- and guitar goodness; before ending things with the soft, hopeful vibe of “Winters Day”.
“This Is Not The End” is an excellent album that shines with the beauty and strength of DeMarchi’s voice, and with Leslie’s expressive guitar-work adding to the music’s golden glow. It’s an album that manages to feel intensely personal and intimate, while rocking out like nobody’s business at the same time. It hooked me from that first listen, and it just keeps getting better every time I play it.
- Suze DeMarchi: vocals
- Dave Leslie: guitars
- Mick Skelton: drums
- Dario Bortolin: bass
- Under Your Skin
- Invisible Dreamer
- Warm Bodies
- Things That Make You Stay
- Hot Air Balloon
- Got It Bad
- Winters Day
This article first appeared and is courtesy
of Maria Haskins’ Rock And Roll