Backyard Babies

Backyard Babies

Written by: PP on 17/08/2008 00:42:13

Who doesn't remember Backyard Babies from their megahit "Minus Celsius" a couple of years back? The song came off from the band's critically acclaimed record "Stockholm Syndrome", which coincidentally also won a Grammy, considered by many the band's climax and certainly their most successful album to date. Their next album "People Like People Like People Like Us" was received much less fanatically by the media and fans alike, causing the band's ratings to plummet, and - I'm guessing here since no information is available - resulted in them parting ways with their major label. Generally major labels don't take kindly to albums that sell only half of what their predecessor did, so that's the only plausible explanation I can come up with. Nonetheless, the band is back with a self-titled album, their sixth one so far, where they have once again fine-tuned their sound.

Those who don't know (is your address in Rockville?), Backyard Babies plays attitude filled garage rock and roll that's sometimes referred to as 'sleaze rock', partly due to their polished guitars that still drool of rock n roll, and partly because their vocalist really sounds like that sleazy dude hanging out at bars in his glam outfit. The band have gone through a number of changes in sound, starting from straightforward garage punk to the mainstream arena rock of "Stockholm Syndrome", but on self-titled it seems that the band have taken a few steps back into the world of high octane rock and roll. The record's jam-packed with catchy melodies dressed in a distorted guitar uniform, with plenty of choruses to draw your attention to. Perhaps none so immediate as those on "Stockholm Syndrome" or even some on their previous record ("Dysfunctional Professional", anyone?), but on a number of counts the band comes pretty close. Lead single "Fuck Off And Die" is as sleazy as it gets though still appropriate for radio, and "Idiots" fires power chords with all cylinders while the vocalist's attitude-filled scratchy voice releases another memorable melodic chorus. "Degenerate" is as rock and roll it gets on the record, sure to please anyone awaiting for "Chinese Democracy" to arrive, while "Come Undone" is a more polished track, complete with a "na-na-na-na" crowdpleasers all around. "Zoe Is A Weirdo", on the otherhand, is a rather strange song, weirdly resemblant of some kind of steroid charged The Damned fused with The Ramones. Nonetheless, it's tongue-in-cheek sound and chorus make it one of the highlights of the album, and one is left wondering why it's the second last track on the CD instead of being the opening track.

Overall, "Backyard Babies" is a decent rock and roll album with a tight sound, but that's almost what you'd expect from a band on their sixth album. The melodies are well thought out and catch on after a few listens, but on a more general outlook, probably won't place the band back into the international media spotlight they were enjoying a few years ago, nor insert any of their new songs into the next edition of Guitar Hero ("Minus Celsius" on GH3). Nonetheless, fans of straightforward rock and roll, distorted guitars, and vocalists with attitude will find the record solid overall, if rather unsurprising.

7

Download: Come Undone, Idiots, Zoe Is A Weirdo
For the fans of: The Damned, The Hellacopters, Danko Jones
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.08.2008
AFM
Provided by Target ApS

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