What happens when Cassie Ramone (The Vivian Girls) and Kevin Morby (Woods) take a break from their acclaimed projects? They make Babies – and it’s a beautiful rosy cheeked love child of sound. Just after Valentines Day The Babies released their self titled full length on Shrimper, and since then it has been a favorite rotating on my turn table. The record flows from hit to hit with lo-fi catchy gems perfect for the coming summer. If you like garagey boy/girl vocals it will be hard to ween you off The Babies. It’s no surprise that opening track “Run Me Over” has been deemed an unofficial single of the album. The track starts slowly with a surfy guitar before breaking into a propelling garage rock jam, setting you up for a collection of nicely crafted pop tunes. Over all, The Babies sound is easy to digest and isn’t to be taken too serious. After all, the band was formed to be a fun side project and the songs have a timeless quality. “Breakin’ The Law” will make you flash back to the moments when you met your first partner in crime. Mid album Babies go on to channel the Velvet Underground in campfire sing-a-long “Voice Like Thunder” while “Meet Me In The City” showcases Morby’s raw vocal quality that is similar to a young (un-jaded) Frank Black. The tail end of the album is more artistic and jam oriented with tracks “Wild I” and “Wild 2” where Ramone and Morby each tell their own perspective of the demise of romance. “Caroline” serves as the perfect closer to the album, beginning with a drawn out instrumental where the guitar carries the melody until the buildup is too much to bear and the band explodes into one last hurrah of up tempo hollers and shouts. While the Babies was formed to be a fun side project for Ramone/Morby to return to simpler times and smaller audiences, this record is too hot to keep them cooped up for long.


YellowFever: Infectious Rock

Portland people beware: Austin based minimalist rock group, YellowFever, is coming through town to rock East End tomorrow (7/9) and their songs are downright infectious. The band formed back in 2006 and have been touring with their driving rock sound ever since. While the songs are pretty straight forward, YellowFever, adds a subtle quirk keeping the songs interesting and memorable. Sometimes that extra flair is an amateurish wandering guitar while other times it recalls a 60’s girl group singing in a surf band. However, YellowFever’s biggest catch is their reliance on the most natural instrument of all: the human voice.

I’m a sucker for a good melody and Jennifer Moore’s low-toned voice has a sweet and powerful delivery sounding like a cross between Grace Slick and Mira Billotte from White Magic. Their debut full length, Cats and Rats, is an easy listen with thick, clear-toned guitars, steady drums and vocals pushed to the front with tasteful harmonies…If you need any other sort of hipster cool points to tally, The Vivian Girls have chosen to release YellowFever’s Cats and Rats via their label, Wild World Records.

Listen to “Hellfire”