BABYLAND: The Finger: CD

Mar 22, 2007

Truth be told, I was always kinda leery of a lot of the music releases Flipside put out. Not that it was all bad, mind you, but there were enough clunkers in that catalog to warrant more than a few puzzled looks and scratched noggins. One needs look no further than the Motor Morons EP for proof. Babyland, however, were always a no-brainer to me. Their caustic “two men and a computer” techno-punk assault (not to be confused with “digital hardcore,” a German one-trick pony that faded faster than Paul Simon’s acting career), which successfully maintained a balance of human aggro and mechanical remoteness, always managed to keep me interested. More importantly, they always made an interesting racket and that’s usually most important when you really get down to it. Outside of those Flipside releases, however, I never really heard much else from ‘em, partially because I couldn’t find anything else for a while there, and partially because I had heard they had traded in the noise for dance floor accessibility. Seeing this in the music piles was a nice surprise. While I’m pleased to say that they have not, in fact, wimped out, there is definitely more of a sense of “musicality” to the tunes on here, the result being a sort of “death rocked new wave via Casio keyboard” hybrid, with homeboy still belting them vocals out, that stands up to any of their previous releases. Nice to see that, in their case, “progression” and “maturation” do not equal overt sucking.

 –jimmy (