Baby Woodrose

Kicking Ass & Taking Names

Written by: BV on 19/02/2014 21:41:04

It really isn’t a secret that I’ve been yearning for a new Baby Woodrose album since shortly after the release of the highly psychedelic ”Third Eye Surgery”, which was released way back in 2012. I guess that’s why I initially got very excited when I heard the small-time rumours of a new Baby Woodrose album in the making. Whilst the reality of it was slightly different it was, to be entirely fair, still a new outing of sorts. “Kicking Ass and Taking Names” was indeed a new Baby Woodrose album – however, it would consist entirely of rare and out-of-print B-sides and singles from the band in an effort to make even the most casual of fans able to hear these songs and get them on the desired vinyl format, without them having to be frenzied record collectors (like myself and so many others) to actually have these select few songs on vinyl. Seeing as the album is a compilation of sorts, various expressions from the quite diverse Baby Woodrose catalogue are naturally present, dating way back to some of the first sessions of the band with tracks like a cover of The Troggs' “6654321” and all the way up to 2013’s single release “Light Up Your Mind”.

As the crunchy tones of “Information Overload” open the album, my mind is instantly taken back to the final efforts of the original Baby Woodrose lineup, as the swirly lead guitar is quite reminiscent of the characteristic sound that oozed through the brilliant album “Chasing Rainbows” way back in 2007. This mixture of different Baby Woodrose expressions is both the album’s strength and weakness at the very same time. On one hand, the listener is treated to an exclusively diverse listening experience ranging from the semi-psychedelic outings of “Information Overload” on the very first track, only to be catapulted directly into a full-on garage-fuzz onslaught with “Coming Around Again” a mere two tracks later. It’s great for the dynamics of the compilation and all, but it also portrays the compilation format’s often lacking sense of coherence seeing as the material stems from a variety of sessions.

With “Here Today Gone Tomorrow”, originally stemming from a split single done with Dollhouse, things turn to a harsher territory quite reminiscent of stoner-rock – once again diversifying the album’s overall sound. It would seem as if there is an abundance of the harsher, more fuzzed up tracks on this compilation, leaning towards an overweight of material from the band’s original lineup. It’s quite a welcome leaning though, as this period was arguably when the band did some of its greatest work. It’s not entirely made up of fuzzy explosions though, as the cover of The Raveonettes’ “Beat City” signifies how chilled out the band can also sound. Whilst the track hardly revolutionized anything, it is still a quite entertaining obscurity to listen to.

I guess that’s really the whole point of releasing a compilation of B-sides – it’s a way to bundle up the various, possibly quite experimental, aspects of a band throughout a lengthy career whilst making it commercially available in the sense that the casual fans can also get an honest chance to own and actively listen to these songs. In that sense it does a great job whilst also serving the purpose of keeping the fan-base aware of the fact that band is still highly active.

7

Download: Live Wire, Information Overload, Light Up Your Mind, Beat City
For the fans of: (early) Baby Woodrose, Dollhouse, Dragontears, Sweatmaster
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.03.2014
Bad Afro Records


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