Back in late 2005 and early 2006, while Godsmack was in the process of recording their numerically titled fourth album, IV, frontman Sully Erna suffered from a rare case of writer’s block which was so severe that it drove the other members of the band to the studio without him, as to not totally waste their time. The three remaining musicians, Tony Rombola (Guitars, back up vocals), Robbie Merrill (Bass) & Shannon Larkin (Percussion), produced an impressive 40 tracks, of which only 14 were eventually used when Erna came out of his deplorable funk.
At the end of Godsmack’s tour cycle in support of IV, the band went on a temporary hiatus, and the members of Godsmack, sans Erna, wanted to utilize the body of music that they had created. Though there were rumors of the sorely underrated ex-Dropbox and current Saint Caine vocalist John Kosco being brought on board, this unfortunately never panned out. Rather, the group enlisted the vocal support of ex-Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whit Crane and the guitar support of former Godsmack and Dropbox guitarist Lee Richards and created the project which they aptly dubbed “Another Animal” – likely a reference to the band’s striking similarities to, but stark differences from Godsmack. Their first album was moderately heavy and had enough Godsmack in it’s blood to feel good, but not so much as to make the bands blend together. Whit Crane’s crooning vocal style gives the album a unique flavor that doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else in hard rock today.
More importantly than all of that though, is that the group is currently in the studio. Now working on their second album, Another Animal is proving to be more than just a one-off side project, or a frightful hint at Godsmack’s demise. Rather, it seems that the creative juices are flowing and everyone in the Godsmack camp is hard at work. Sully Erna is said to be going back out on tour in support of his recent solo effort, Avalon, which is a highly recommended show that any music fan should experience. Check out NY Rock Music Examiner’s review of Sully’s solo show at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City last month here.
In a recent interview, Shannon Larkin commented on the new Another Animal material, calling it “real heavy stuff”, which while not very specific, is certainly promising. The band has announced that the album’s first single, “Fall Of Rome”, will be released “soon”. Keep an eye out for NY Rock Music Examiner’s review of the single, and any information regarding an album release or tour in the NYC area as soon as it hits.
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