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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Wet Animal

Wet Animal

Review by Lisa Palmeno

Wet Animal's debut album is original, traditional metal with modern flavors. The founder of Chicago's Trouble Rick Wartell recently formed the group with singer/guitarist Shane Pasqualla, bassist Michael "Vito" Diprima, and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson. The finished product is tough, solid, and enjoyable. The words are understandable; the rock beat steady; and the guitar work appropriate.

There is a definite 1980's influence, but on the serious side, sticking to the musically sound (no pun intended) devices. Wartell is obviously experienced, and rumor has it that the band is getting mucho attention in the windy city. The production, recording and writing are all professional and pleasantly crafted. Wet Animal will be respected among their peers for this first new-band effort.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Soul Alone
Pasqualla's Axl Rose type of vocals kick off the album on this moderately-paced piece that features lots of cymbals from Olson. Very workable changes and breaks make it an interesting composition.
Lost In My Head
A mini-drum solo introduces this near 1970's hard rock piece. "Lost in My Head" is memorable, with many influences from the 1960's on up. This one would be great for radio airplay and serves as a highlight of the CD.
Outside A Hole
Bongos open this ultra-modern, alternative-sounding tune. Pasqualla drones in over the band, leading singing guitars in a metal rock ballad.
Left Behind
"Left Behind" opens unplugged. The vocal harmonizing is lovely and the melody perfect for the acoustic guitar that leads into a beautiful electric solo. Parts of the song are very reminiscent of Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home." Highly-developed and complete, this is the feature song of the album.
Don't Put Me Down
This one is faster, tenser, and more alternative than the other pieces. Still clear and very in-the-pocket, Wet Animal stays on track through various shifts and changes.
Fade Away
Classic metal pervades here with expressive vocals, well-placed reverb, and Olson's outstanding interpretations on drums.
Nomads Land
Modern alternative rock glides along easily as the singer cries out that "hair is crawling" and his "eyes are burning out." He says "I walk around in no man's land trying to make you understand, in a place where I don't belong." There is a shift mid-song to a different sounding theme, and back to the easy alternative rock. The finish sports a classic rock guitar solo.
Wreathe of the Roses
An eerie picture develops inside a metal lock box precluding the ever-present quickie guitar solo.

This one has the fast, then slow, then fast thing going on. A trademark of alternative metal, the shifting tempo and tone gives the feel of two or more songs thrown together with unpredictable transitions.  

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