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ANIMAL 900lb. Steam (Perris Records 2002)

This is the band featuring three ex-WASP members - guitarists’ Randy Piper and Chris Holmes, along with drummer Tony Richards (who plays on the album only). The vocalist is Rich Lewis (BIG AMERICAN DOGS), who sounds uncannily like Blackie Lawless at times! A very heavy release with plenty of WASP sound influences as you would expect. Opener ‘900lb Steam’ has some ultra-heavy riffing coupled with power drumming and if you didn’t know otherwise you would swear it was Blackie Lawless singing! A great rocker and it’s quickly followed by ‘Pi**ed Off’ and the band certainly sound it with distorted guitar and rapid fire drumming. Rich Lewis takes on a less shouting vocal on this track but still retains his power. Along with the guitars, Chris Lewis’s vocals are another highlight on this album. He is also no Blackie Lawless clone, more the style of the songs to be honest as the guitar sound is very early era-WASP. The ballad ‘Never’ is okay but this band sounds much better when rocking out.

‘Another Victim’ has a Sabbath riff, dealing with the tale of killer who becomes a victim in society. The lyrics are not what I was expecting - no party rock anthems here! Another Sabbath style riff drives along the slow burning ‘Talk Too Much’ with average ‘Hunting Season’ closing the album. Much better than I was expecting and a band who would be even better seen live.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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