The Baby Animals are back with their third studio album, 20 years after their last one. This Is Not The End is a very fitting title, and also quite reassuring for fans worried about a long wait for a fourth album. They are planning a national tour later this year, during which they will be filming a live DVD. Believe me, they are back.

The new record will please fans, as it doesn’t sound very different from its predecessors. Baby Animals are a very consistent band. Even though the original rhythm section left, Dave Leslie and Suze DeMarchi’s guitar and vocal combination remains intact. This combination puts emphasis on Suze’s awesome rock singing, and while Dave’s guitar is not necessarily hidden in the background, I always feel like the Baby Animals don’t utilise him as much as they could.

To emphasise the fact that they are a rock band, the album opens with the new single, ‘Email’, with Leslie showing us a taste of what he can do. Suze has a powerful voice born for rock n roll, but her singing also has a soft soulful side, as heard on ‘Invisible Dreamer’, but more explicitly on ‘Make It End’ from the band’s first album. Hooks are a big part of the band, and there are many catchy vocal and guitar hooks present on this album, such as my favourite, ‘Under Your Skin’, which has great guitar during the chorus and memorable vocal melodies from Suze (“Hey Hey Hey Oh”).

There is more to Australian rock than just AC/DC, INXS and Midnight Oil. There’s also more to Aussie rock chicks than the late Chrissy Amphlett (God rest her soul). Suze DeMarchi has returned to the Aussie rock scene with a vengeance and the Baby Animals are more than welcome to enter the hearts of rock lovers nationwide once again. This Is Not The End is full of catchy rock hooks, and there’s not a single bad song present.

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