WET ANIMAL – Wet Animal

WET ANIMAL - Wet Animal


Escapi Records
Release date: November 1, 2005

Run Time: 46+ minutes – 10 tracks

User Review
5.5/10 (1 vote)

Wet Animal was founded in 1995 by a couple of habitual rockers in guitarist Rick Wartell (Chicago, USA) and vocalist/guitarist Shane Pasqualla (West Virginia, USA). After tending to domestic matters in the form of fatherhood in the late 90s, Wartell and Pasqualla decided it was time to scratch their chronic itch to rock and reformed Wet Animal in 2003, caught the attention of Escapi Records, and knocked out this self-titled debut, which was released in the later part of 2005.

With a name like Wet Animal, Alternative Metal or perhaps Grunge images quickly come to mind, but you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Wartell has stood toe-to-toe with many of the heavyweights in Hard Rock and Metal during his previous incarnation with the band Trouble (founded all the way back in 1977), ranging from The Ramones to Pantera … and it’s pretty clear that these various encounters have influenced Wet Animal, not so much to cause them to form a distinctive or consistent sound or approach that somehow captures and spits out elements of each influence, but rather by Wet Animal shifting gears from track to track to maintain a consistent base sound that incorporates non-homogenous musical elements.

The base sound of Wet Animal is a mix between Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, and Candlemass … Classic Neo-Grunge Doom Metal, if you will. Several of the tracks follow this base formula, and Wet Animal are pretty successful when playing it straight in the opening 3 tracks, “Soul Alone,” “Lost In My Head,” and “Outside A Hole.” After this “introduction” to the band, they begin to change things up by adding elements from other genres to their base sound. “Left Behind” contains a Thrash feel to it in the old school Metallica vein, while “Nomads Land” is based on a solid Blues platform. “Fade Away” has an opening guitar riff that was clearly influenced by Alice Cooper’s classic hit “Desperado” (from his Killer album), and the unnamed bonus track (track 4) sounds like it could have been borrowed from a Classic Rock band like Taxi. By and large, Wet Animal is successful each time they deviate from their “norm,” and then close out the album with “Wreathe Of The Roses” and “Relentless,” two strong tracks that return the band back to their Classic Neo-Grunge Doom Metal base sound.

Soundwise, Wet Animal’s music is well rounded, easy to listen to, and consistent. The only weakness in essentially all of these songs is the vocal sound. Pasqualla appears to be a competent singer, but the vocal sound comes through a bit distant and “tinny.” It sounds as though Pasqualla may have recorded his vocal tracks at an off-site location, or perhaps with inferior equipment … it’s odd how the music can sound so professionally recorded when the vocals sound like “demo” versions. An unfortunate phenomena, but by no means does the vocal-to-music disconnect ruin this album … if anything, had the vocals come through better, this otherwise “very good” album could in fact be considered a debut masterpiece for Wet Animal.

There’s something for everyone in this Wet Animal album … fans of old school Hard Rock/Metal should find as much to enjoy as fans of Doom Metal, Neo-Grunge, and Stoner Rock. Their debut album likely isn’t going to hit anyone’s Top 5 list for the year, but it undoubtedly would be a welcome addition to many music collections. Check it out!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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