Review by Stewrat
Any band that would play someplace called Burt’s Tiki Lounge in Albuquerque is okay by me. Listening to Babelshack in my own small basement tiki shrine, I’m reminded of:well, actually, no one immediately. Point number one in their favor.
As their MySpace site reports, Babelshack consists of four students from the College of Santa Fe’s Music Program: Barnaby Hazen (guitar and vocals), David Hixon (bass), and Dylan and Westin McDowell (drums, and guitar & keys accordingly). The band’s first full-length, Return of the Bottomfeeder, is a dense mix of crisp lead lines and twisted rhythm patterns propelled by a throbbing percussion session. “Divinity” (download), perhaps the quietest song on the disc, is a neatly crafted atmospheric tune. The follow-up, “Believe You Me” (download), moves quickly from a deft guitar into to a full-blown noise fest. Hazen’s vocals neatly complement the guitar squalor of “Never a Bride” with Hixon and the McDowell brothers making their own statements throughout. A 2005 EP including “Twisted” was a credible introduction to the band. Noisier than my usual spins, it is nonetheless tuneful. File under “moody.” â€”SR