Release Date: Jun 23, 2009
Record label: Shangri-La Music
For some time now, Brooklyn's Amazing Baby have had a reputation based on who they know rather than their musical accomplishments. Never averse to dropping the odd name or two, their close association with the likes of MGMT and Chairlift was always going to stand them in good stead, at least so far as gaining a foothold of credibility before a note of music was heard at any rate. This, coupled with their initial appearance on the UK scene, thrust as some cathartic diffusion of the Manson Family and the Brian Jonestown Massacre with better cheekbones and hair, certainly assured a degree of pin-up status, even if it raised question marks over the overall substance of their output.
Coming straight out of Wesleyan to score a ton of SXSW buzz, bro-ing down with MGMT, getting breathless future-of-the-scene press from Interview and Rolling Stone and The Guardian, strutting around in 1971 cosplay while rolling their eyes at journalists who try to connect their hippie chic with actual usage of psychotropic substances-- there are plenty of reasons for skeptics to violently reject Amazing Baby. Granted, they're not particularly useful reasons, what with them having more to do with scenester anxiety and cred wars than anything, but they're floating around right now and muddling up the discourse. Fortunately, they have an album out now, which means that extrapolating judgments from little more than a 7", an EP, and the dreaded Williamsburg address is no longer necessary.
Free music – Rewild.
Though these hyped-up Brooklyn rockers don't exactly hide their glam rock overtones, they're not quite as retro as that suggests. Sure, they owe a heavy debt to Bowie and T-Rex, but there's just as much Britpop in their sound, along with a hint of shoegazer and psych. [rssbreak] It's all very lush and fabulous, but also restrained and calculated to the point of coldness.
First there was MGMT and Chairlift, now Amazing Baby tumble out of Connecticut's Wesleyan University, armed with so many lysergic pop tunes the seat of learning must have a secret psychedelic pop factory. Like their predecessors, Amazing Baby's music has a surreal feel, as if they've fed the history of pop through some sort of giant kaleidoscopic converter. Bayonets is T Rex's Truck On Tyke gobbling acid drops; the floaty Invisible Place wouldn't be out of place on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
Amazing Baby, a quintet of hygienically-challenged 20-something dudes from Brooklyn, look like they were plucked from the pages of a haute indie rock band textbook. Fashionably scraggly haircuts? Check. Hobo-chic wardrobe? check. Death-warmed-over pallor? Check. Proclivity for dead-eyed ….