(Un)Amazing Baby

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The album art for Amazing Baby’s Rewild is pretty fitting – it’s a loud, jumbled mess of ideas slapped together and dressed up to the nines.  According to Pitchfork (though often wrong, they have no reason to lie), Rewild is generating lots of buzz for Amazing Baby but some in the indie scene are judging the band for dressing like it’s the 70s, determining that they make bad music because they dress like posers. I’m not gonna hate anyone’s music just because they dress poorly, especially not when the music itself so easily holds itself up to my ire, as if attempting to sacrifice itself on the altar of my disdain. Which makes Rewild some kind of martyr, I guess, if you believe in that sort of nonsense.

Okay, Rewild isn’t the worst album of the year (that “honor” will probably ultimately go to Chris Cornell’s Scream which is so awful that it’s actually embarrassing to listen to), but it’s definitely not good. Pitchfork is right (won’t say that too much) that Amazing Baby is busily aping all their favorite acts, but they’re wrong that Amazing Baby is good at the pastiche. Every song feels like bits of other songs hastily cut and pasted together, and not necessarily top-shelf songs either (sometimes, Rewild feels like your least favorite Cure songs mashed up with the soundtrack to Xanadu). But rather than just rant at you for a thousand(ish) words about how I feel, I thought it’d be fun to honor Amazing Baby’s fad status by telling you how I feel about Rewild in the form of an internet survey. You can copy and paste this survey and email it to all your friends. If you don’t, a Nigerian prince will steal your identity and clean out your bank account, leaving you to cry over your herbally enhanced genitals.

1. What bands does Amazing Baby remind you of?

In no particular order: ELO, Modern English, a shitty T. Rex cover band, and a shitty Pulp cover band

2. Are any of those associations positive?

No. No they’re not.

3. Three albums that Rewild makes you wish you were listening to:

Pulp’s Different Class, anything by LCD Soundsystem, and Clouds Taste Metallic by The Flaming Lips

4. Make three predictions about this band:

1. Some drunken jackass will try to tell me this is the album of the year 2. one or more members will die whilst attempting auto-erotic asphyxiation 3. They will make no more than three and possibly less than two albums

5. What’s your favorite thing about your body?

This has nothing to do with Amazing Baby. (But it’s my herbally enhanced genitals, of course!)

6. What’s with everyone thinking they’re either 1970s Bowie, Brian Wilson, or Lou Reed?

Well, look, 2 of those 3 things are fucking cool things to be. Problem is, someone’s already been those things. There isn’t a band out there that isn’t picking something up from their influences, but when musical homage gives way to cheap imitation and cosplay, you’re doing it wrong. Music first, kids. Music first.

7. Isn’t cosplay the thing where people put on animal suits and fuck each other?

Not all cosplay is like that; you’re thinking of Furries, which make up a perverse subset of cosplay. It’s complicated. Basically, Furries are the kids who got picked on by LARP-ers, who are the kids who got picked on by the D&D kids, who got picked on by… everyone.

8. Can you come up with a violent image regarding Amazing Baby?

Sure: I wish someone would shake Amazing Baby until they stop making noise. While we’re at it, I wish they’d bring back the Baby Shaker I-Phone App. It’s not like anyone was forced to buy it and it was fucking hilarious. (I don’t even own an I-Phone and, without Baby Shaker, I have no reason to get one.)

9. Are there any good songs on Rewild?

Not entirely, no. There are parts of songs that are quite good, but they’re all such a mish-mash of ideas that nothing has a chance to take hold. It’s like they sat around listening to 70s records and said, “Ooh, that sounds cool – let’s put that in this song.” But they did that for three or four measures at a time. Har har, maybe they should change their name to A.D.D. Baby.

OK, actually, album opener “Bayonets” is all right. But it still makes me want to listen to “Melt With You” by Modern English or “Friday I’m in Love” by the Cure.

10. In “Smoke Bros”, do they spell “Smoke” wrong?

Yeah. Sounds like they’re spelling it “S-M-O-K.” In fact, I just listened to it again. They are definitely misspelling “smoke.” That’s monumentally stupid. For the record, there is nothing cool or clever about misspelling words, especially monosyllabic ones. Ever.

11. Is it worse than Cypress Hill saying they’re “insane in the membrane”?

You know, it’s right up there. Saying you’re insane in the membrane (or implying that there is only one membrane – the membrane –  in the entirety of your body that is somehow perched precariously between “insane” and “not insane”) is pretty retarded, but misspelling “smoke” is actually closer to Fergie’s brand of stupid where she manages to misspell “tasty” in a song about how great she is. In any case, Amazing Baby, “Smoke Bros” is a stupid song made magically dumber by your willingness to record yourselves misspelling a basic English word. And before anyone tries to crawl up my ass about how it’s intentional or about how the song’s a fucking metaphor or any of that shit, listen to the song: it’s none of those things. It’s…just…fucking…stupid.

12. What’s with song titles that have the word “your” spelled “yr”, like “Pump Yr Brakes”?

I don’t know, but it needs to stop. I could blame the text-messaging culture, but I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s people thinking they’re arty when they’re just being dumb. Or dmb. It’s almost worse than spelling “smoke” wrong in a song.

13. In 100 words or less, describe how you feel about Pitchfork comparing Amazing Baby’s “Invisible Palace” to Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”

It is clear evidence that the Pitchforkers have never heard “Astronomy Domine.” But these are the same people who called Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Bullshit album “universal.” Their hearts are in the right place, mostly, but sometimes they make Sarah Palin look like Stephen Hawking.

14. Hey, dude, have you heard this Amazing Baby album? It’s the album of the year!

Fuck you.

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