STOLEN BABIES - There Be Squabbles Ahead
November 27, 2006, 13 years ago
A loud riddle wrapped up in an energy-filled enigma, L.A.'s Stolen Babies is reflective of its homebase: the band rocks, is totally theatrical and, every now and then, comes off flaky in the most absurd of ways (check out the group's promo shots). These traits are what make the collective endearing though, and through all of Stolen Babies' music/image twists ‘n’ turns you find yourself having a helluva lot of fun. Incorporating influences as varied as Ministry, Oingo Boingo and Transylvanian gypsy music, Stolen Babies somehow makes it all work in a coherent whole that at times rips your face off and at others acts as the soundtrack to those underground goth ‘n’ roll nightclubs you need secret passwords to get into. And man, check out those bass lines! Rolling around in the same greasy, thick waters as Motorhead and Death From Above 1979, Stolen Babies uses off-the-wall bass riffs as a central, disfiguring pillar. Top moments on the record are the over-the-top energy of 'Spill' and 'Mind Your Eyes' as well as the four-on-the-floor indie-dance of 'Awful Fall' and 'So Close', these tracks giving Stolen Babies the kind of genre-hopping chameleon status necessary to appeal to all sorts of genres and subgenres. The accordion parts on a lot of There Be Squabbles Ahead I could live without but, then again, being open-minded never hurt anyone.