Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Backyard Babies – People Like People Like People Like Us

I was a bit hesitant to pick up this new BB record because I was less than impressed with the last release that I got, but when I saw it was produced by Nicke from the Hellacopters, I thought I would give it a chance.

And this is damn good! The title song sounds similar to something the Supersuckers would have done in their hey-day – short, simple with a big chorus and even bigger guitars! “Cockblocker Blues” seems to have a nod to the Stones in the title, but musically is sounds more like later Zeppelin in the almost a-rhythmic, but rockin’, main riff and dynamics. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t what they were going for here.

“Dysfunctional Professional” harkens back to the sound of Total 13 while “We Go a Long Way Back” sounds similar to the Lords of the New Church’s “Russian Roulette”, which is not a bad thing! They slow things down for “Roads”, but it is still an electric, though melodic and almost ballad-y.

Back to the classic BB punk’n’roll and a play on other band’s titles with “Blitzkrieg Loveshock” which leads into the head-banging rhythm of “The Mess Age (How Could I Be So Wrong)”. “I Got Spades” is more of a punk-pop tune with gambling metaphors and then “Hold ‘em Down” is a rawer, power-punk and one of the cooler tunes from this record. This also lets guitarist Dregen add a little more and he should never be held back! He’s a fantastically wild player and should be running rampant throughout the record, but is unfortunately, subdued for the most part.

Another fast rocker is “Heroes and Heroines” which maintains a melody as it careens across the speakers and does let Dregen loose for another short burst of aural lightening, though this is far too short. They speed it up even more for “You Cannot Win” which has more cool riffin’ while still maintaining their Swedish Social Distortion sound.

Rounding out the record is “Things to do Before We Die”, a mid-tempo, poppier tune that does have another nice Dregen solo. Not their best and this leaves the record on just an ok note, rather than blasting out something like “Hold ‘em Down” to make us want more.

But, overall, this is a solid release and a return to the feel of early Backyard Babies.