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While writing songs for "IV" ('06) Godsmack frontman Sully Erna was slammed with writer's block. Rombola, Larkin and Merrill could have sat around waiting for Erna to re-capture his muse. That probably would have meant an extended period of inactivity. Hanging around the house is fine for a couple days but musicians need stimulus. They need an audience - real or imaged to feed off of. Going into the studio, the trio recorded nearly 40 songs. Twelve of those tracks appeared on "IV" with another two being bonus songs. Doing the math, it became obvious there was still a lot of material remaining on the shelf.
In April, '07 Erna was involved in a serious accident in Massachusetts when his Hummer H3 (a BIG machine) rear-ended another car. Erna escaped with only some aches and pains, including a split lip. But the backseat passenger in the other vehicle suffered severe injuries. Though Lindsey Taylor survived she was initially in a coma and on life-support. The incident traumatized the singer.
Then, concurrent with the release of Godsmack's career retrospective "Good Times Bad Times: 10 Years Of "Godsmack," came news the band was taking an 'indefinite hiatus'. "We're not going away, we are just gonna take a break and enjoy our 10th year anniversary and kind of recharge our batteries," Erna assured fans. "And then Godsmack will be back, and we will come back bigger and badder than ever."
That left the door open for Another Animal. Rombola, Larkin and Merrill recruited Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whitfield Crane and brought in former Godsmack guitarist Lee Richards.
Many side projects can be viewed as vanity efforts or exercises in marking time. But Another Animal issued their self-title debut in October, '07, and just a few months later "Broken Again" managed to crack the Active Rock Radio Top 10 - meaning it got a lot of airplay. This success did not go unnoticed. Many Godsmack fans wondered how Another Animal would impact their favorite band's future. Yet despite assurances from Another Animal band members that Godsmack would continue, at some point, a gaggle of fans voiced harsh disapproval.
2007 Another Animal
Another Animal sounds like a lot of other bands - including Godsmack. Surprisingly, it's the brooding "Broken Again" which could pass for a Grunge track and the ballad "Blind" that resonate. The group possesses a genuine melodic sense. It does fail them though when they try to take it up a notch but the sharp "Before The Fall" and the dense "The Thin Line" stand out.