The Babies, Self-Titled

Posted on March 23, 2011 by

Artist: The Babies
Title: The Babies
Label: Shrimper 160
Release Date: February 14, 2011

I purchased a couple of Babies singles in 2010.  Their “Meet Me In the City” b/w “Somebody Else” became one of my favorite singles of that year. The unaffected “Caroline” was a reminder that rock can be most successful at its simplest form. The same can be said for “Breakin’ The Law.” Its catchy-fuzzy noise pop with male/female harmonies brought to my mind the seminal underground band Black Tambourine. But there was more reckless joy in these songs.

I’d check back periodically at the Insound website to see if the Babies had more offerings and finally the full-length self-titled album appeared. The reason of the time between the singles and the full-length could be attributed to the band being busy with their other bands; Kevin Morby is in the Woods and Cassie Ramone in the Vivian Girls. I’m happy to admit that I was not privy to that knowledge prior to purchasing the band’s output. I approached it without pretense, not expecting the Vivian Girls or the Woods.

A commonality I discover in these noise bands is a general deadpan delivery of the melody surrounded by lavish layers of distorted music, sounding like organized white noise. The Babies move the guitar a little higher in the mix, bringing to mind the Velvet Underground at times (listen to “Caroline” and “Voice Like Thunder”). In addition, their voices are more generally more emotive. The opening track, “Run Me Over” sounds like something Nancy and Lee would do if they were 23 years old and recording in the new millennium.

The album contains both of the 2010 singles, but not the b-sides. It clocks in at about a half hour with two tracks lasting less than two minutes. I guess that supports the fact that the Woods and the Vivian Girls are rather busy, or is it punk sensibilities. I’ll say both.

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