Welcome everyone. Today we are looking at out first Australian band, the 90s rock group Baby Animals. These guys (and girl) may not be familiar to some of you, but this debut of theirs did go platinum multiple time, so that’s nothing to sneeze at. This album was released in 1991, and as well as featuring the talented members of the band, also featured some big names behind the scenes. Kevin Shirley engineered and Mike Chapman was the producer and the mixer. No writing credits by either though. This album is pure band, and from this album it’s easy to see that they didn’t even need Chapman’s hit-writing pedigree.
Take opening song “Rush You”. Straight into the rock with some good riffing and good vocals by vocalist Suze DeMarchi, including a short but engaging hook. The next song is just as good. Another rocker, “Early Warning” continues the trend of excellence, and features a great hook and some sublime guitar work in the soloing. “Early Warning” is also the first song on the album to properly demonstrate Suze’s excellent and versatile vocals. She’s got a powerful voice capable of both softer singing and louder singing, something she uses this to great effect. And perhaps because of this not every song is an uptempo rocker, such as the next one. “Painless” is a more melodic tune, but even the softer songs feature great hooks and this definitely applies to “Painless”. The same goes for the following song “Make It End”. A bit more rock is reinstated on the next song, which is is “Working For The Enemy. Musically speaking it’s the most accomplished song on the album. Neither uptempo nor soft it sits in a unique middle ground, but it still has a great hook, as is becoming he tradition of Baby Animals. And I love the moment in the atmospheric bridge soloing just as it transitions to the final chorus.
We then make a return to the slower, more melodic, song style with “One Word”, “Break Why Heart” and “Waste of Time”. All three are just as good as the previous ones, but the lack of distinct rock does make me yearn for some of the other songs on the album, namely the next two. The first of these is “One Too Many”. It’s more pf a chugger than some of the other rocking songs but it still does rock, with another great hook. This album really is full of them. “One Too Many” also features my favorite moment on the album. Two seconds after the supposed end of the song, the band launch into a frenetic drum and guitar instrumental workout that eventually loosely reprises “One Too Many” for its end. It rocks hard enough to be it’s own little song a la “The Hellion”. And then we get to the final song on the album, and also my favorite song on the album, “Ain’t Gonna Get”. “Ain’t Gonna Get” doesn’t fool around. It’s straight into the fast-paced hard rock with a great head-banging riff and rocking vocals to boot.
Even with just a little bit too many slower songs, it’s not hard to see how this went platinum multiple times, and became the best selling debut Australian rock album for twelve years.
The verdict- 3.75/5
Debut albums don’t often come much better than this. I can think of some that do, but that’s nothing against this one