Review by Brian McGowan
In the vanguard of talented new Australian hard rock bands, Babyjane deliver much of what they promised in 2010’s ‘Are You Listening’.
Uber producer Michael (Dokken/Skid Row/Metallica etc etc) Wagener, who mixed the debut, has also produced this time round and on the face of it, that is indeed a coup for a young new band.
But the reality is maybe something different.
The fundamental appeal of any new rock band has to be, at minimum, an audible thread of originality running through the music, binding together their influences to create a cohesive whole.
With ‘Make Me Sick’, the song writing is strong, skilled even and the performances are never anything less than full blooded, but in recreating the sound of the era that made him famous, Wagener has gone some way to undermining Babyjane’s identity.
It’s a notion that’s reinforced by the addition of John (Motley Crue/Union) Corabi as guest vocalist on the title track.
That said, there is an upside. While the band’s heart may be held captive by the straitjacket of the studio, their heads are planted firmly in the certainties of memorable melodies, sharp hooks and fiery riffs, all set to the rhythm of a pounding percussive thump.
First single, ‘She’s a Liar’, ’New York Queen’ and ‘Bad Woman’ all break the bonds in a wild combination of punk attitude, unexpected melodic twists and dark balladry.
Yes, there are shades of Alice Cooper’s theatrical mannerisms and the edgy solipsism of the LA Guns, but for the most part, Babyjane sear their own brand of rock into the skin of these songs.
Elsewhere, the arrangement and production of ‘Bittersweet’ and ‘Underground Detention’, hotwired into a raw, organic wall of sound show genuine imagination and risk taking, creating the kind of visceral impact that the music of their unstated heroes did, 25 years ago.
More of this next time, please.
6 out of 10
- Make It Sick
- She’s Just A Liar
- New York Queen/London Whore
- Nu-Sonic Plague
- Bad Woman
- Ruby Roulette
- Fakin’ It
- Underground Detention
- Somebody Up There Hates Me
- Bleeding Eyes