27 Sep 2020

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Animalhead - Single Review: Rabbit Hole

13 Oct 2018 // A review by Brendan McCarthy

Having been a fan of Animalhead's first release The Devil Told Me So, it was an easy decision to sign on and give the new track a spin. Armed with first-hand knowledge of the massive live sound that these 3 lads from West Auckland can produce, I grabbed myself a beer, strapped into my computer chair and applied headphones. Let’s go!!!

Cowbell anyone? Yes, please Dan Rooke (drums, drums and more drums) that would be great thanks. Always more Cowbell, please and thank you.

The track opens with some solid riffing underneath the aforementioned cowbell being seriously punished. Nothing too original as far as riffing goes but anything goes as long as it’s played with attitude and meets the needs of the track. In an instant it becomes clear that there is about to be a sonic explosion of sorts to get my head bouncing. I am not disappointed, and neither will you be. The party is now well underway and the ‘mosh chair’ is pumping. Just when I think the vocals are going to drop in, the main riffing melody is chucked up an octave to keep the live feel and maximize my neck muscles to their full extent. Nice one lads.

Vocals kick in strong to add some front to all this energy that is now powering thru my headphones. Some solid versing to get things moving, followed by a great vocal shift in the pre-chorus where the vocals follow the guitar melody to bring us to a grinding pause (just enough time to raise the head up in anticipation for another blast of well co-ordinated 3-piece guitar/drums power). Ironically during the pause, Campbell Mickell (vocals, guitar) screams that “I’m so sorry”. I don’t believe him for a second. I think that all 3 guys are having a grand old time beating the crap out of my ears and sounding damn good doing so. Right, so the chorus is here and yep I thought so. The hook line “Yeah I’m doing fine, thanks for asking” buries itself in a glorious ‘stadium’ of reverb to peak the song for the first time.

Animalhead in the house people.

The track is now in full thrust and moves through some well-crafted progressions to keep me in maximum gig mode. Some solid but subtle bass grooves from Josh O'Brien keep my ears tuned in and ready for more as the last drive to the mountain starts.

It’s on with another supreme blast of the chorus and a power drive of solid drum quads that makes it feel like you have just been 10 rounds in the ring with. Just when I think the track is going to finish in a nice guitar fade, I am treated with a well decent rock n roll ending that keeps the track feeling live.

It’s here that I should now reveal that Animalhead did indeed record this track live at the Lab Studio and then had the mastery of Zorran Mendonsa (Coridian, Seas of Conflict) work it into shape. When I found out this fact, I admit that I went back for a few more listens to find any mistakes. None, nada, nothing. Brilliantly well done lads. I salute you.

It’s also worth a mention that there is a message to be found in this song that tackles some of the serious problems we have with mental health in New Zealand. I will leave it to you find your own way through the lyrics as I am certain this track is going to be on repeat for some time.

Rabbit Hole is a very well-crafted piece of ‘groove rock’ from a young band that are doing a great job of keeping music live and real.

Did I mention cowbell.......

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Animalhead

Animalhead are a Hard Rock Blues trio from West Auckland.

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