BAND OF THE WEEK: OLD BABY

21 May

New Music” is the name of the new album containing the new music from the band named Old Baby – except that the music of Old Baby hardly lends itself to being contained. “New Music” is expansive and unbound, certainly unchained from concerns of genre, and probably from the constraints of time and space as well.

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Perhaps it’s too early to say whether “New Music” stands the test of time, let alone being free from its limitations. As of this writing, it’s been just two days since Old Baby released “New Music,” though we’ve been listening intently for the span of those two days and, early or not, we’re comfortable declaring “New Music” as among the best new music you could possibly hear.

Part of our judgment is surely colored by the enduring nature of the old music released by Old Baby, in the form of their equally spectacular previous album, “Love Hangover.” But the lion’s share of our lionizing of Old Baby’s new music has to derive from “New Music” proper – an album that suffers from no lack of depth, no lack of sincerity, no lack of ooh’s and aah’s.

The Old Baby sound is, by one way of thinking, as counter-intuitive as the band’s name. Using well-worn, earth-bound tools (guitars, drums, the afore-mentioned ooh’s and aah’s), Old Baby is able to craft something entirely new. Or something not old. Or something timeless.

“New Music” doesn’t get any more timeless than its start. The album begins with “Someday,” a song warning of the day that’s coming, that’s already here, about the opportunity to enter the void and release the grasp. The words are simple, but not easy, and the music takes a similar form – hypnotic, simple, powerful and, if we may be so bold/naive, imbued with a higher purpose.

And if it’s new a “higher” purpose, let’s at least recognize the music of Old Baby seems to be driven by a purpose, even if that purpose is to fully explore what is driving the music.

It’s the exploration we hear in “Hovering Toll,” towering in its Chrome-like heaviness and Killing Joke-level weirdness. It’s what we hear in “Take Heed,” a droning dedication to the endless fall toward the abyss, or “Me Dying,” where the band threatens to drown “in a sea of unsung sound,” while the listener is bathed is cosmically-chil vibraphone accents. And it’s what we hear on “Visions,” in its search for a voice that remains unspoken, setting the stage for intergalactic inner-exploration over shrieking guitar weirdness and a slow-mo, way-out “War Pigs” shuffle, appropriately preceding the finale of “Coming Down,” floating way, way out in the stars and making its case for being the “Dark Star” of the expanding Old Baby catalog.

Keep expanding. Old Baby. “New Music.” Highest possible recommendation.

You can get Old Baby’s “New Music” at their Bandcamp page at a very, very, very reasonable price.

“When we’re in tune with our inner wealth—the qualities of compassion, contentment, patience, and so on—it’s endless, it’s timeless. Those are the qualities that we’re born with. Everybody. The whole process of meditation is all about trying to dig into this inner wealth, to access it.” – Trinley Thaye Dorje

 

 

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