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Album Review: Baby Animals - This Is Not The End (Deluxe Fully Loaded Edition)

Posted on June 1, 2014 at 10:15 PM


Baby Animals – This Is Not The End (Deluxe Fully Loaded Edition)

Written by The Rock Man

 

Once upon a time Australia had a reputation, both locally and internationally, as a rock and roll nation. Somewhere along the line we either forgot about it or simply lost our way, whatever the reason Australia is no longer the rock mecca it use to be. But even in our heyday of strong rock productivity I always felt there was a lack of quality women performers, this was a very male dominated genre and the only quality female fronted acts that comes to mind are The Divinyls lead by Chrissy Amphlett and the Baby Animals lead by Suze De Marchi.


When the Baby Animals burst on to the music scene with their self tiled debut album in 1991 I was so impressed and blown away by the energy and vibe of this young band that I had very high hopes for their future. In 1993 they would release a follow up album, Shaved And Dangerous and support Robert Plant and Extreme on their respective tours but by the mid 1990s their record label folded and not long after the band disbanded. The band members would go their separate ways and involve themselves in other projects until 2007 when the band reformed, over the next couple of years the band would go through line up changes but would eventually settle on a line up which would include original members De Marchi on vocals, Dave Leslie on guitar and newbies Mike Skelton on drums and Dario Bortolin on bass.


Much to my pleasure the band were back with a new album in 2013 titled This Is Not The End. Upon its release the album would crack the Top 20 of the Australian Albums Chart debuting at No. 19. Twenty years after their Shaved And Dangerous release the Baby Animals were back in a big way with an outstanding record. Now in 2014 the band have released a Deluxe Version of the album which features two CDs, a live CD of their Feed The Birds Tour and an extended version of the This Is Not The End album.


The first disc is the extended edition of the record, here you will find tracks such as Email, Under Your Skin, Things That Make You Stay and Hot Air Balloon, all the energetic, fist pumping rock attitude that made the band such an exciting prospect back in the early 90s. Of course one of the many strengths of the band is their ability to shift gears and the band execute this brilliantly on Invisible Dreamer, Priceless and Winter’s Day, the title track, This Is Not The End wraps up this version of the album. Originally not included on the 2013 release, the track is a laid back acoustic ballad which is accompanied by some wonderful orchestral strings that showcase De Marchi’s voice in an incredible new light.


The second CD is the live recording of their most recent national Australian tour of 2013 Feed The Birds. The CD begins with Under Your Skin which is a fire cracking song to begin with but in a live setting rises to a whole other level. The band keeps the rocking vibe going with Got It Bad before whipping the crowd into a frenzy with one of their much loved favourites Rush You. A series of mid tempo tracks from the This Is Not The End album follow with Bonfires, Warm Bodies and Invisible Dreamer. From here the band cranks out more classics from their back catalogue such as Painless, Don’t Tell Me What To Do, One Too Many and One Word as well as a few more newer tracks like Stitch, Hot Air Balloon and Email. The album rounds out with an energetic rendition of Early Warning and Dirty Bird a two and a half minute instrumental jam that changes gear on several occasions.


Overall this is a great package, for me, this deluxe version of This Is Not The End works two fold. Firstly I get to enjoy the album again but with a bonus track and secondly I get to enjoy the band in a live setting which is really well recorded and captures the band at their very best. This reminded me of how Australian rock used to be back in the good old days.


Categories: Album Reviews

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