Animal Grace "Finally" - 6.5 out of 10
Animal Grace are from OHIO, USA. They play hard rock in the style of vintage Van Halen, the trouble is this is one of those awkward albums that you can't make your mind up over. Sure, there is a lot of diversity throughout this 14 track CD, but at times it does become a bit tiresome and you ending wishing the album would hurry up and end. That's the bad point. The good points are that listening to this album makes me feel very excited of the fact that I bet Animal Grace is a killer live band. They have some great songs on this album. But they should have cut it down to size and then perhaps I wouldn't be so judgemental towards them.
"Do It To You" is a great rock song a'la Van Halen, Bulletboys, White Lion "Shout it out loud" type of anthem song. I really like the drumming by Kenny Barnett and Tony Powell's vocal delivery is very similar to David Lee Roth. The song speeds up and is very punchy and solid. I also like the balladish "So Far Away". Tony does a fine vocal workout here. Also cool is the bluesy and dreamy "The Best Of Me" which is stunning. I must mention the funky crunching opening track "B-Movie" which is very much in the tradition of Extreme's debut album. Overall not a lot to shout about. But, it's a good start. The band plays tight and live they should be quite awesome.
Nick Baldrain......Sound Barrier Magazine and Hard Rock And Metal on the internet,
Swansea Wales, UK
Animal Grace "Finally" - 7.0 out of 10
ANIMAL GRACE comes out of Springfield, Ohio, USA. They have just released a CD titled 'Finally' and on this disc we can find 14 songs. Musically ANIMAL GRACE is playing pure Rock. It's a bit 70s inspired and sounds a little raw in places not unlike BAD COMPANY or MOXY. My favourite tracks are "Words" (melodic rocker in 70s style), "The best of me" (calmer bluesy rockballad with a very melodic chorus), "Do it to you" (uptempo melodic rocker), "Downtown" (70s sounding melodic rocker) and "Bayberry dunes" (KISS styled 70s rocker). If you wanna hear the raw 70s rock like MOXY, APRIL WINE all over again, yet with an updated 90s sound, you should check out this ANIMAL GRACE.
(Points: 7.0 out of 10)
Gabor Glakenstein………Strutter'zine magazine and website, Holland
Twisters says thanks.......
I'd like to thank Animal Grace for letting me put LUXX on the bill with them
Saturday March 11th for the show. They really helped me
establish a solid relationship with a high profile booking agency. The
booking agency is also showing their gratitude and has promised Animal Grace
an opening spot as a supporting act for W.A.S.P. or Quiet Riot on a Cinci or
Tony Hurley.......Dayton Band Resource Page & Twisters booking
Animal Grace took long road to "Finally"
Band produces CD after years of change
Twelve years. Several lineup changes. One CD. Sixty to 70 years' combined playing experience. All of these descriptions match Animal Grace, a Springfield-area rock band that is the musical home of Tony Powell (vocals/guitar), Kenny Barnett (drums/vocals), Chris McConnell (bass/vocals) and Mark Palmer (guitar/vocals). The group started out in 1988 on the Springfield-Dayton circuit as a cover band, playing clubs such as the now-defunct McGuffeys. After about 10 years, Powell and Palmer decided to give it a break. "In 1997, Mark and I needed a hiatus,", Powell says. "We were burned out. There were personnel changes, and then we built a recording studio. We'd done a lot of different things, but we never had a finished product, so we stopped, and decided that was what we should do."
The group recorded the album Finally in a little over 18 months, mainly as a trio. McConnell, the newest member of the group, did not join until, the recording was complete. "This lineup is still is its infancy," says McConnell, of Urbana. "The CD was a collaboration between the three of them, and now we're seeing where to go from there. Live, the songs are really taking on a personality of their own...."
"Finally" incorporates elements of traditional two-guitar rock 'n' roll, blues, contemplative ballads and harder music. It was self-produced, mastered at Refraze Recording Studio in Kettering and duplicated in Canada.
All agree the CD is representative of the band, but say the live show is a strong point.
"(The band-crowd dynamic is) bi-directionally associative," says Barnett, of Springfield. "Live, we're like a raging fire. It's not better or worse, but we don't want to be Steely Dan - the world's greatest studio band. You know the feeling you get after you eat a really good steak dinner? Well, that's the feeling I get from the band. "
Sara Farr - at Dayton Daily News
New Carlisle Sun - Wednesday June 21, 2000
Animal Grace Filling in the music void
If I told you there was a really great rock band practicing a few nights a week right around the corner from me you might say, “Big deal”. “Doesn't every neighborhood have a few guys with some musical ambition?” But what if I told you their debut CD entitled 'Finally' has sold 400 copies since its release last August with only six shows to promote it.Animal Grace has done exactly that, and the band's list of accomplishments doesn't stop there.
Founded in 1988 by guitarist and singer Tony Powell, Animal Grace was a prominent player in the Springfield club scene. But by the mid 90s some 'burnout' had set in and Powell just needed a break. He soon found out though, that music was something he couldn't stay away from. “When you're a musician, it's something that's just in you,” he said. "And after all of the hard work and time he had spent with the band, there was still something missing: a finished product."
Enter Mark Palmer, a local singer and guitarist that Powell had asked to fill in for a gig when the band's singer couldn't be there. The two had known each other for several years, but they were about to find out that they had a knack for writing original music together.In 1997 the two added drummer Kenny Barnett, another long time friend of Powell, and the reinvented Animal Grace soon had enough original material to hit the studio to record their first CD.
Upon its completion in August of 1999, the group signed on bass guitarist Chris McConnell and the stage was set to promote the new disk.
The classic and 80s rock influenced band quickly grabbed a following, staying in guitar style of rock-and-roll they grew up listening to and avoiding any present trends.“We try to fill in what’s missing, fill in the void," said Palmer referring to the present music scene. There are so many bands out there who try to do what everyone else is doing, we like to be original." The quality of originality caught the attention of WING FM DJ and new music show host, Tony Peters. The band was recently featured on Peters' show, which included interviews and tracks from 'Finally."In his on-line review Peters said, "Tight harmonies, good-time lyrics and fiery guitar solos show that Animal Grace has one foot planted in the last decade. And that's a compliment."
Peters is equally impressed with the group's live shows, and he says he has seen them play to large crowds and small ones but the level of professionalism stays the same. Professional doesn't mean boring though, as Peters says, “It's nice that a band is still having fun. So many bands stand up there and stare at their shoelaces, and that's definitely not Animal Grace.” Tony's review can be found at DaytonRocks.com or you can visit AnimalGrace.com. The site's 4200 hits since it was launched in January of last year is virtual testimony to the band’s growing popularity.
One might think with all the attention that problems could arise or heads could swell, but not with these four guys who have managed to stay grounded with their jobs and families. And with only a few live shows left before they head back to the recording studio, Tony Powell’s “finished product” has exceeded his expectations.
Jennica Stout.......Sun Special writer....New Carlisle Sun