Baby Chaos: Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory
The magnificently titled Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory marks the long awaited return of Scottish rabble rockers Baby Chaos. Their last album saw the light of day some nineteen years ago and while two subsequent releases under the name Deckard appeared in 2000 and 2005, it was widely thought that Safe Sex, Designer Drugs And The Death Of Rock And Roll (1994) and Love Your Self Abuse (1996) would be the first and last releases from the band. However recent years have seen the BC's reforming to open shows with their ex-label mate Ginger Wildheart and from there we suddenly have tales of skulls and glory to be regaled with.
It's no surprise that Mr Wildheart had a hand in cajoling this lot to get back in the studio, for his unmistakable influence is writ large on Baby Chaos and yet this lot are far from mere copyists. In fact had the breaks came their way, and possibly had they been slightly less uncompromising in their approach, then mainstream success could have come their way. Amazingly SSSSMTG picks up almost exactly where Self Abuse left off, guitars slamming into you from every side as melodies burrow into your mind and hook laden choruses are sliced straight into your brain. Impressively it is the real deal recording this album, the four original protagonists back together. Chris Gordon and Grant McFarlane are still a guitarist pairing of real vision and style, their ability to smack you sideways matched by the willingness to rein things in and ensure self indulgence is left at the door. So we get "The Whispering Of Giants"; a song where Gordon's 'I'm not giving up, I'm not giving up' vocal refrain is given as much room to breathe on a singing melody line, as the surging riff is to mercilessly swipe your feet from under you. And it isn't a one off either, Gordon time and again spitting out his words in a manner which implores you sing along as you punch the air, or convulse involuntarily to Davey Greenwood's hammer blows of percussion as Bobby Gunn takes up the rear defences, staving off attacks with his busy, confident four string action. "Have Faith In Yourself" shows a real maturity in arrangements, as Wildheart like slabs of riffage cut through stinging spurts of clean guitar and soaring vocals, and while the children's choir vocals which add a few lines here and there may become tiresome over time, the anything but sweet tones they have been employed to deliver do work really well.
"P P P Peaches" veers madly from full on punk glory to Killers like commercialism, an accessibility alluded to but darted away from through the sheer believability of the delivery. Add in the exuberantly bristling "We Were Youth", the infuriatingly catchy groove of "Risk And Writhing" and the almost Manic Street Preacher like "A Tingling On Your Bright Skin" and Baby Chaos have all the bases covered here. And that's without even mentioning the glorious jostle of "You Can't Shut Us Up", unsettlingly insistent "Blackbirds", or slow building glory of "Habibi" which closes the album in mighty fashion.
Baby Chaos deserved much more recognition and success than they even came close to first time round. That they've, after such a lengthy lay off, just released an album which tops anything they've done before is as impressive as it is surprising. Show me the glory? I don't need to, it's right here!
1. You Can't Shut Us Up
3. The Whispering Of Giants
4. Have Faith In Yourself
5. P P P Peaches
6. Poison Ivy Girls
7. We Were Youth
8. Out Of The Silence
9. Risk and Writhing
10. A Tingling On Your Bright Skin
Added: April 16th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Baby Chaos online
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