Stolen Babies - _There Be Squabbles Ahead_
(The End Records / No Comment, 2006)
by: Aaron McKay (7 out of 10)
Wrap your brain, if you can, around a Hieronymus Bosch painting brought to life in a Tim Burton flick. Accomplishing that feat then, visually, you have a concept of Stolen Babies -- musically, on the other hand, you have not a clue. When the word "eclectic" falls short of the describing the material, you know you are in for an unbalanced ride at best. We can start here: remember the Primus video for "Mr. Krinkle"? Keeping that image in mind, the Stolen Babies' surrealistic carnival sideshow found within this eerie Circ Du Soleil inspired release, _There Be Squabbles Ahead_, replace Les Claypool with goth-y, cabaret influenced, accordion toting, Jessica Alba-esque Dominique Lenore Persi on vocals. Brothers Rani (guitar/bass) and Gil (drums) Sharone along with Ben Rico on the keys comprise this free-form musical troop.

The thirteen (appropriately enough) tracks totaling just shy of fifty minutes that follow range from the easy flowing "Lifeless" to the bottom-heavy "Tablescrap" to initially Moorish sounding feel on "Gathering Fingers", Stolen Babies runs the complete hellaciously avantgarde metal continuum.

Drawing more than the occasional comparison to the incomparable Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, this parallel might not be completely unwarranted. As guest musicians on _TBSA_ Stolen Babies drafted the help and aid of producer and Polymorph Recordings co-owner, Dan Rathbun, Michael Mellender and Carla Kihlstedt are all SGM co-conspirators. In addition, the band have mixed in the amazing talents of guitarist Davin Givhan.

While I prefer my metal more antagonistically aggressive, any masquerade receptive, Rocky Horror Picture Show strappingly pale aficionado will welcome this effort, especially this Halloween season, with open arms -- no squabbling about it.


(article published 14/10/2006)

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