Rogue Male – Animal Man (1986/2008 reissue)

Rogue Male – Animal Man (1986/2008 reissue, Metal Mind)

  1. Progress
  2. L.U.S.T.
  3. Take No Shit
  4. You’re On Fire
  5. The Real Me
  6. Animal Man
  7. Belfast
  8. Job Centre
  9. Low Rider
  10. The Passing
  11. Rough Tough (Pretty Too)*

(* bonus track)

Band Lineup:
Jim Lyttle – Vocals, Guitar
John Fraser Binnie – Guitar
Kevin Collier – Bass
Danny Fury – Drums

Producer: Steve James

Total Time = 50:16

Rogue Male unofficial MySpace page
Rogue Male at Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives
Listen to ANIMAL MAN at Vibrations Of Doom
Metal Mind Productions

With the fame and fortune predicted by Kerrang! magazine a false promise, Rogue Male regrouped in the U.K. at the end of 1985 to begin work on their new album. In order to capitalize on the buzz created from their tour supporting FIRST VISIT, the band quickly churned out the BELFAST E.P.

The E.P. contained three songs: ‘Belfast’, ‘Take No Shit’, and ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’ of which the first two would be included on the new album.

By 1986, the whole Metal world was overcrowded with new bands coming from all over the world and the L.A. Glam scene was starting to take over. Obviously that had an effect of Rogue Male because one look at the ANIMAL MAN cover and you get some sort of scary Mad Max gone Glam concept. Take a look at Jim Lyttle and tell me he doesn’t look like Adam Ant! I remember seeing this record back in the day and comparing it to FIRST VISIT’s cover, I just knew that something changed. This also marked the debut of new drummer Danny Fury who is credited with playing the drums on ANIMAL MAN but they are really the work of an unnamed session drummer.

The Music:
The reissue contains the 10 song proper album plus ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’ from the BELFAST E.P. Giving this album a spin for the first time since 1986, it’s hard to believe that this is the same band that made FIRST VISIT. Gone is the complete raw sound that made the debut so good and in is a mix of Pop-flavored Hard Rock with some Metal mixed in. Maybe the band’s lack of initial success made them re-think their direction and came up with a “more accessible” sound. Obviously the image got a little out of hand but so did the music. There was a direct NWOBHM influence on the debut and that’s all but gone on ANIMAL MAN, the songs all sound like a batch of different styles and are not cohesive together on the album. Where FIRST VISIT had a rawness to the production, ANIMAL MAN sounds too slick and loses it’s power. The drums sound awful and both the vocal and guitar levels vary in the mix, there’s also a non-existent bass sound. This CD is remastered and everything is clear but it is also subpar Metal music, take a listen to ‘The Passing’, it sounds like heavy New Wave at times! There are a few good songs, I like ‘Take No Shit’, ‘Belfast’, and the bonus track… surprise they were from a slightly earlier recording.

The Package:
Like the other reissues from Metal Mind, each reissue is limited to 2000 copies and numbered. Each CD comes in a full-color digipak and includes a color booklet with additional liner notes and lyrics. The music is remastered using 24-bit technology on a gold disc. The big thing is the bonus track, ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’, from the rare BELFAST (1986) E.P. added on to the proper album.

Bottom Line:
Metal Mind has made another nice reissue but the album suffers from a lack of direction from the music made 22 years ago. It’s nice to have ANIMAL MAN alongside FIRST VISIT in the collection but I would suggest this as a “collector’s only” type of album. Getting the non-album track ‘Rough Tough (Pretty Too)’ as a bonus is cool so you don’t have to track down BELFAST to complete the Rogue Male recorded history but I’m not sure that is enough to want to give this CD regular listens. Comparing both albums, the debut beats ANIMAL MAN easily with more raw Metal. For collector’s, completists, and diehard Rogue Male fans only.

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