Baby Bangs: Owning Our Baby Hearts
By Jay Armstrong
A few months back I was in the early stages of piecing together a house show when I received a text from Bryan Roberts (The Dizzease /Booher ) saying there was a newer band out of San Antonio, Baby Bangs, who I should hit up about getting them on the lineup. This is the same guy who turned me on to Junkie and Daikaiju, has a history of playing only in perfect bands, and once spent thirty minutes casually entertaining me with an annotated history of Matthew Melton which forever strengthened an already solid respect I had for Melton—a guy who spends half the year being treated as the second coming along the west coast and across Europe and the other half working the door at Hotel Vegas while producing albums which even Anton Newcombe aspires towards. Baby Bangs weren’t able to make the show but from that single mention Roberts gave they forever have remained in my peripheral, slowly but surely kicking up their feet in a nice comfortable spot near the good contemplative feelings in my heart.
It seems almost redundant to continue pointing out just how overlooked the level of talent in San Antonio is yet unfortunately living in the shadow of Austin keeps the statement necessary every single time. If these guys were instead making this noise in the midwest today’s Huh? EP release would be monumental rather than the likely slow climb ahead over the wild fire coming months just now barely beginning to branch out from the original motivated flame. Of course strong communities of respected art begets strong artists and vice versa, the catch–22 moving on and on and on ad infinitum, so let’s save that discussion for another time. What remains far more important is we now have the only two-piece which comes to mind to actually find a balance between style and substance. That is not to pretend what Japanther, Japandroids, King Khan and BBQ Show, etc, are doing isn’t perfect in their own right, it is merely to point out previous similarly structured bands have spent far more time immersed in their conceptual derivative tone than trying to articulate themselves fully through it. Baby Bangs put the experience of the artist in the forefront allowing the sounds used for expression to shape themselves unobtrusively around it. The experience overall feeling more honest than we have been conditioned to appreciate in our corner of Texas, I suspect the same could be said outside of our delusional bubble but one can never be sure.
The single from the cassette release is “Dirty Feet,” a song as slow climbing imaginable when clocking in under a minute and a half; managing to set the tone both for the post-breakup freeing desolate contemplation of being alone the lyrics are pulled from while transforming verse by verse towards the realization our self-deprecating felt inadequacies were caused as a reflection of an ex whose imposed narcissism formed an ongoing complex they never should have had the power to create in the first place. Their rote format often used of a somber backbuilding beginning released in an aggressive onslaught of frantic long repressed teenage liberation of emotion is perfectly put on display throughout this one making it the ideal taste for the layman listener to wrap their ears around for the first time.
Huh?, as should the case be for all EP releases, is self-recorded and self-released. If you happen to be in San Antonio tonight you can grab a copy of the four song cassette for yourself at The Manor (1050 W Pyron Ave.), they are playing alongside previously mentioned Junkie as well as Derek and Booty Feet.