Album Review: Baby Animals, "Baby Animals"

"Fame is notorious for causing stress." So the lyric goes on Rush You, the opening blast on BABY ANIMALS’ self-titled debut album. If that's the case they would be well advised to embark on stress therapy treatment pronto.

Fronted by the considerable presence of Suze DeMarchi (she’s also their main songwriter), Australia's BABY ANIMALS deliver eleven dynamic songs full of verse and bristling with energy. DeMarchi's vocals are husky and sensual. Mercifully with her short hair and chunky Doc Martens, she doesn’t conform nor pander to the leather-clad, peroxide chick (who needs some bad lovin' from a mean man) type.

She's also well complemented by the drum-skin tight rhythm section and the scorching guitar approach of David Leslie. The band strike up a good balance between a finely textured sound and a nerve ends exposed rawness. Granted, it's still trad rock of a kind, but their performances are injected with such a sense of urgency that any lingering cobwebs are blown away.

Pivotal cuts on offer here are the pacey and infectious Early Warning and Working For The Enemy, a song which, to use a metaphor, stalks its prey gracefully like a black panther before pouncing powerfully with lightning speed.

Side two has a heavier slant, epitomised by the likes of Waste of Time and Ain't Gonna Get, the latter bringing to mind JOAN JETT at her most rowdy and anthemic.

BABY ANIMALS are MTV friendly without ever committing the cardinal sin of uniform blandness. And whilst neither mould breaking or earth shattering they've made a damned fine record. Fame and its perils await. Still, beats anonymity anytime. Grade A

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
March 1992
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