Sharing a drummer with Cloud Nothings and featuring the synth stylings of Emeralds’ John Elliot, Total Babes are sure to pique interest across the spectrum. Heydays is a summer-ready jaunt in the vein of Tokyo Police Club or Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Out on digipak CD and vinyl LP from Wichita.
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It would appear that this band has the drummer from Cloud Nothings filling in sticks duties, which is a pretty big PR nightmare: how, exactly, to make that sound like anything but an unremarkable indie rock tidbit? Listen to Total Babes for more than about five seconds, though, and you’ll realise being interesting has got nothing to do with it -- this is nothing more than an indie rock good time packed full of melodies that could make any number of songwriters blush.
At points these songs sound like if Stephin Merritt was ghostwriting for Dick Diver, or any number of distorted indie punx who placate their ever-so-slightly noisy sound with the bubbliest of tunes. Total Babes fire through tunes like “Bone Dry Eyes” with the brash but precise rules of Menace Beach’s ‘Ratworld’; grind your way through verses with chunky chords and then impact with a fantastic hook, which in this case is comprised of disingenuous chants of “It makes me sick!” and hilariously out of place keyboard. The band’s ramshackle spirit continues quite homogeneously through the record, but choice cuts make good on their sound: “We’ll Come Around” injects a bit of emo into their sound and gravitates towards a sweet-laced chord sequence.
So, you know, the only real problem is that the band are called Total Babes. They have some nice ideas and they execute them with immediacy, or else step back and write something that’s swoon-certified: “Repeat Gold”, which cleans up the guitar and asks for some human kindness. To conclude: nice drumming, Cloud Nothings guy!
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