The album explodes into my ears with the recently-released single “Th1rt3en Or Nothing”, which has a funky start and then sort of slides into a slow and groovy wall of sleaze. The vocals are sneering, the guitars are wailing and I love the drum sound. It reminds me in places of some of the stuff that Slash has produced recently.
Second track “I’m On My Way To save Your Rock & Roll” is my personal favourite. It’s punky and has attitude, kind of like a modern-day Hanoi Rocks. This is what I would call the classic Backyard Babies sound, a bouncy singalong chorus with those low-down sleazy vocals and the twin guitars weaving in and out of it all.
“White Light District” continues in the same vein, keeping up the energy and attitude and swaggering into a potential live classic I think.
There’s a total change of pace for “Bloody Tears”, which starts slowly with a country vibe then morphs into a massive power ballad. Get your lighters ready for this one!
Back to the classic Backyard Babies sound for “Piracy” which is fast and fun, but still with that touch of sleaze. It features some excellent harmony vocals and I can see it becoming a firm favourite in the live set too.
“Never Finish Anything” would probably have been my choice for a single. It has a more modern sound with Nicke and Dregen throwing some two-way vocals at each other and features the catchiest hook I have heard for a long time. I have found myself humming “no solution, no problem” to myself ever since I heard it!
Back to the slower “Mirrors (Shall be Broken)” and another ballad with a more bluesy groove. In places there is a hint of Bon Jovi and some jangly guitars that put me in mind of U2.
“Wasted Years” brings a more modern sound again, it’s fast and fun and has a bit if a US pop-punk vibe about it. There’s a bit of a time-change taking it to a 50s rock’n’roll sound which keeps me interested.
Final track “Walls” is slower, but there’s no ballad here. Instead a strong and dominant bass line gives it a feel all of its own, and it then becomes an instrumental ending that wouldn’t be out of place as the theme for a Hammer House Of Horror film. There’s creaking doors, doomy guitars and even an evil cackle or two.
It seems that those years doing their other projects have enabled the Backyard Babies to come back with a sound that is stronger than ever. This album is close enough in style to satisfy their die-hard long-term fans but there’s also some interesting new directions to attract a new audience. Give them a listen, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
The album is due for release on 28th August and more information is available from the band’s website HERE