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Babylon AD: XXV

The resurgent Babylon AD return on the 25th anniversary of their self titled debut with the aptly named XXV live release, an album which showcases the best of their three studio efforts, which spanned three separate decades; 1989, 1992, 2002. Lumped in with the "hair" scene, B.A.D. were always a heftier proposition and a band with a canon of songs with more weight and worth than many of their peers, a bluesy outlook bringing an air of authenticity so many acts from the day lacked.

Rather than a full on recording of a live show, XXV is more a live best of, cherry picking performances from the band's recent, triumphant appearances in Newark, Concord and Denver in the US and Nottingham's Firefest in the UK. Hence there's little between song stage patter or interaction as each of the numbers fade out at their conclusion. And that's a real shame because the band are on top form hammering their way through a collection of classic Babylon moments. However things never really builds on that momentum when the rowdy crowds are quickly faded to silence. The mix of the album walks the line between pleasingly rough and ready, and worryingly scruff and unsteady, and yet through all this, belting anthems such as "Back In Babylon", "Shot Of Love" and the superb "Sally Danced" hammer home through the sheer strength of a band firing on all cylinders. Singer Derek Davis reveals a more overt Dave Meniketti twang to his vocals (which is no bad thing of course) than is apparent in the studio, while the guitar pairing of Danny De La Rosa and Ron Freschi inject a real sense of urgency and potency into each and every song although that said, having knock 'em dead numbers like "Hammer Swings Down", "Bang Go The Bells" and "Kid Goes Wild" gives this lot an early, almost unfair advantage. Oddly the disc closes out with two covers, the Montrose classic "Rock The Nation" and UFO standard "Lights Out London" and while both are handled superbly, as a B.A.D. fan, I'd far rather they'd been placed earlier in the set, so the "show" could end on a full on Babylon A.D. high.

XXV maybe has a few flaws, however it's a joy to have Babylon A.D. back and in such rude health. Followers of the band will take to this album straight away, however if you're a fan of late 80s/early 90s rock scene and you never picked up on B.A.D. first time round, then this is an excellent place to start. I assure you, you'll seek out the rest of their catalogue tout suit.

Track Listing
1. Back In Babylon
2. Hammer Swings Down
3. Shot Of Love
4. Sinking In The Sand
5. Bang Go The Bells
6. Maryanne
7. Bad Blood
8. Love Blind
9. Sally Danced
10. Desperate
11. Kid Goes Wild
12. Rock The Nation
13. Lights Out London

Added: April 25th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Babylon A.D. online
Hits: 1206
Language: english

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