The Babies

The Babies have a new record out on Woodsist (streamable via Spin), a new video, a new bassist, and a new outlook. They are returning to the Bay Area this week to play two shows — Wednesday 12/5/12 at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records and Thursday 12/16/12 at Bottom of the Hill.

A band that started as a casual way for two friends to make music together has evolved into a full time affair, while ditching the Babies’ dismissively inaccurate side project status for serious musicianship. Admittedly, there was something refreshing about a band who identified with infancy, playing simplistic jerry-rigged pop music held together with nothing but their own spirit. Chutzpah, if you will. Here is a band who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, one might think (while listening to their debut album on repeat).

For their sophomore release Our House on the Hill, Cassie Ramone, Kevin Morby, et. al traded their DIY recording digs at Rear House in Brooklyn for a production boost in Los Angeles working with producer Rob Barbato (The Soft Pack, La Sera). Hill has complex song structures. Hill is diverse, stylistically. Hill has organ and sax (?!). What Hill is not, however, is over produced.

The songs are expectedly catchy (except for a few tender moments), but where Our House on the Hill really shines is lyrically and the ability to connect with it’s listeners, many of whom are young to young-ish, broke, and just as frustrated with the many “dumb fucks” and “fucking stupid shits” one particularly infectious song references. The album opens with the heartfelt line “There’s no job to pay the rent, and there’s no love to make it better.” Bam. Just like that.

There are many such effortlessly honest lyrics throughout, like “I wanna get lost in the sound coming out of your mouth/ I wanna get high with you” and “that’s the train that I’m on/ If you don’t want on, then get off/ It’s just who I am,” with enough oohs and ahhs to sweeten the deal.

Their capacity to write such addictively anthemic and catchy songs combined with the energy of their live shows is what makes seeing The Babies on stage so damn awesome.

Unless you take your music with a side of heavy. In that case, move along.

The Babies, Twin Steps, Younger Lovers, Wet Spots
1-2-3-4 Go! Records
December 5, 2012
7pm, $6

Grass Widow, The Babies, Scrapers
Bottom of the Hill
December 6, 2012
9pm, $12