Sunday, 15 August 2010

Animal Bag - Image Damage (1996)

Passed off by some as just another 'grunge' band, Animal Bag, who issued three records in the '90s, and hailing from Charlotte, in the US, were far more than your average lampshade-headed grunge act. 'Image Damage' is probably their hardest record and the chugging opener 'Stupidity For Arts Sake' a mish-mash of Pantera aggression, FNM melody and laces with that Alice In Chains moody groove. Interesting stuff, even if the mid to late '90s didn't offer much in the way of intriguing bands. A shame that Animal Bag didn't really make the grade, but as evident on the riff heavy and smooth 'Spirits Of Grass', and melodic 'Circle', they had a lot to offer. I'm sure had Animal Bag got the recognition back in the early '90s things may have been different, because 'Irritation Network' could easily sit happily alongside the likes of AIC, My Sister's Machine and Soundgarden. For me, this kind of music doesn't have a lasting effect, which sums up the so-called grunge invasion. Whilst very much a trend, this brooding, often arty and colourful style of music never makes up its mind where it wants to go. 'Scum' is a prime example of that with it's raspy vocal attack but it seems that bands like Animal Bag end up, whether intentionally I don't know, alienating themselves from any genre, and during the mid to late '90s when metal was suffering in a big way, this kind of album would have slipped by the way side. I heard that several big labels were interested, but I'm not hearing anything I haven't heard before. Maybe I'm just old fashioned in a metal sort of way.


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