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- Cry Along With... by The Babies
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New on Matt Mondanile's New Images imprint we've got this six-song mini-LP of acoustic demos from indie-rock supergroup The Babies, recorded in 2010 and 2011. We've been shifting their recent split 7” with His Clancyness by the bucketload (and rightly so because their song on that split is an absolute beauty). On this platter we've got a hushed acoustic take on that and five other Babies songs. This one's as lo-fi as they come; the guitars aren't always particularly in tune, and the singing is often cracked and tentative, but there's still a lot of charm poking out of the shambling mess. The gain-heavy tape recordings actually bring to mind Daniel Johnston in a way, and the best moments on this record are when they hit a kind of Woods-esque minimal psych-folk stride. It's definitely MUCH folkier with acoustic guitars. It's reminding me of bands from the short-lived New York antifolk explosion like Dufus or that first Jeffrey Lewis album. Carefully written songs captured with an approach to recording that borders on self-sabotage. It's actually so sloppy and rough around the edges that it's taken me a couple of listens to really warm to it, but kind of like with the Strange Boys, once you get inside the songs a little there's a real warmth to the clumsiness that somehow keeps it just on the right side of that invisible line between likeable and annoying. I wouldn't say it's as good as the album or that split but as a snapshot of these slackers at their slackest it's a shambling little gem.
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