Animals as Leaders: Wave of Babies

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Animals as Leaders: Wave of Babies
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Animals as Leaders: Wave of Babies
Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Prosthetic Records
June 22nd, 2010
Release length: 5:29
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Wave of Babies is a digital-only track that was made available through the iTunes store in late June of 2010. This single is not part of the band’s initial self-titled release Animals as Leaders, and comes to us roughly a year after that. Right away, Wave of Babies becomes a bargain for the small price you pay on-line, but overall it’s still just one song from this Progressive Metal group. With that in mind, was it a smart move of the band to bring this one new song out by itself, or is this a single that would have been better off with a future album’s track list?

The audio quality to the song is actually a little surprising in that it feels a little more raw then one might expect for any Progressive release. The guitars don’t start out this way in the introduction, but once that bit ends they take on a bit of a heavier sound coupled with the aforementioned cleaner, higher pitched leads that at times are largely masked by a loud, driving bass performance. The drumming stands out nicely as well for the most part, having a dominating cymbol presence and bass kicks that usher a loud thud and adds to the slightly rawer, bass driven sound of the recording. The snares sound pretty tight as well, though are greatly drowned out by the other two parts of the kit sadly.

The introduction of “Wave of Babies” really won’t get you braced for what’s to come. It starts off innocently enough, though it doesn’t last long and seems to usher in a Groove Metal influenced bridge that does feel a bit crushing before the song finally kicks off. The guitar work to the largely Progressive Metal song is rather interesting and impressive, often coming through more as a giant guitar solo then anything else, though the Groove Metal chords do still remain present through much of the track. Eventually “Wave of Babies” takes on a more chaotic sound that does feel more like the band is trying to create a tighter performance in the guitar chords, but ultimately ends up feeling rather out of place, even for a Progressive Metal track. Atop of that, there’s really no atmosphere to the song, and at times can feel more like the band just trying to show off what they can do, especially during the aforementioned chaotic guitar work. This does sort of build up to a richer, more aggressive conclusion to the track, but it’s nothing that genuinely feels worth the experience.

“Wave of Babies” is not necessarily a bad song, but much of it just feels uninspiring. The song itself has some nice technical moments and solid shifts in the music for it’s Progressive Metal style, and it shows Animals as Leaders still growing and finding their niche. For what it costs to add the song to your digital collection, it’s not a bad choice, especially for fans of this style of music, but you can’t help to think this was more of a show off track then anything else, especially as it progresses. Sure what they pull off is impressive, but for the most part the entire song simply is not. Had this been a part of their self-titled debut, or perhaps in another album later down the line somewhere, perhaps it would hold up a little better when looked at in context. Sadly, “Wave of Babies” just doesn’t really have enough material to hook the listener in an engaging manner, and what does impress the listener can both become annoying, as well as boring only after a few spins. It’s worth checking out, just don’t walk into this single expecting gold.

01. Wave of Babies – 5:29 Overall Score: 5.5/10

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.