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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Beautiful New Born Children
Hey People!
Domino Record Co.

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

November 15, 2005
So this is what passes for pre-natal care at Domino these days: with a hard slap on the ass, the label ushered The Beautiful New Born Children into the world, and like most babies, the noisy garage rockers arrived covered in blood and mucus, screaming to beat hell. Right away, Domino could tell this one was demon spawn.

Signed on the basis of an unsolicited CD-R that had no return address, the Beautiful New Born Children kick out the jams MC-5 style on Hey People!, a sweaty, ferocious blast of trashy punk that puts all the oily rags of 60s garage rock in a pile and sets it on fire. Think of the album as a sort of sawmill where workers in dirty overalls push song after song into the teeth of a spinning blade that spews sawdust everywhere. It takes about two minutes to send each of them through.

Not ones to fuck around, BNBC gets in and out of their gripping hooks fast before the cops come, with Strokes-inspired guitars stabbing at you repeatedly as if engaged in a frenzied knife fight. The vocals howl like wildcats and the drumming is wild, with cymbals getting smashed to pieces like storefront windows in a riot.

Like The Replacements in the early days, The Beautiful New Born Children are a glorious mess, gleefully bashing out songs in 4/4 time without much regard for melody or variety. The strongest track is "Paper Mill," thanks to guitar chords that sound a bit sunnier, like the Kinks, than anything else here. There's a bittersweet touch to the verses of "A Good Dose" that's refreshing, but it gets stomped out by a manic chorus.

The good news is, the atmosphere of Hey People! is electric, with the guitars of "Do The Do," "Left, Right, Forward" and "Hey Heartbreaker" charging fast and furious, like rock 'n roll cavalry and gleaming like clashing swords. The rhythm section finds tight, compact grooves that get scored by whips of feedback, and there's a feral quality to the nasally vocals that leaves scratch marks on your door… but there's a sense that all this sound and fury signifies very little.

Tempos rarely slow at all, and when they do, the change is so slight it's barely noticeable; that's precisely where BNBC loses some of potency. It gets to the point where it's easy to just sort of tune out Hey People! and say, "Here we go again," every time those same stabbed chords kick in. The raw, primal energy is something to behold, but next time, I'd like to hear something a little more dynamic - something with more structural differences and more sinew. I guess with The Beautiful New Born Children, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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