Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Babys

I listed to The Babys On The Edge LP this morning — it rocked! Thanks to Doug McCauley for turning me on to this, the best Babys album. As far as 80s music goes, this kind of crunchy guitar rock/pop is the stuff that holds up the best for me. I especially like the early Pat Benatar albums and a band you probably never heard of, Off Broadway.

I realize that there are a lot of new bands that feature buzzsaw guitars and catchy hooks. Kathryne's iTunes library is full of them. Some of it is pretty good, but I have two problems with the vast majority of what I hear these days:
  1. Whiny, nasal, sneering singers. I can't take a guy seriously when everything he sings sounds like he's tattling on another kid.
  2. Wall-of-mush over-multitracked guitars. A four-piece band should sound like a four-piece band, even in the studio. The guitars in some of these songs are simply a loud, constant din. Boring. The only quality they have is duration.
Getting back to the Babys, however, I did find myself wishing that singer John Waite had a bit more power in his voice. The album would have been even better with someone like Lou Gramm from Foreigner on vocals.

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