Colorado songwriter mixes obscenity and emotional heft with huge pop melodies
True heirs of [B]The Stooges[/B]' unvarnished tumult, [B]Babes[/B]' legacy demands your investigation....
Even in the context of late-'80s hardcore, Babes perennially stalked unfriendly territory. Songs, such as they were, would consist of rumbling, half-formed riffs and bassist/vocalist Kat Bjelland's unintelligible grunts and howls (Bjelland was previously a member of Sugar Baby Doll, who infamously also featured L7's Jennifer Finch and a certain Courtney Love). Live, they were even rawer, looser - 'Handsome + Gretel' and an exhilaratingly gonzo 'He's My Thing' are junkyard symphonies of stabbing guitar and guttural vocals, forever on the edge of collapse. And Babes retained their menace, their fire, even when they eased off on the frenzy: Lori Barbero's molten croon, on a molasses-slow 'Dogg', is unsettlingly intense.
Ocean Colour Scene fans will consider this album an affront to their hi-fis. Those who see musical prowess merely as a means to expression, however, will find much to savour here. True heirs of The Stooges' unvarnished tumult, Babes' legacy demands your investigation.
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