We all remember a time when hard rockin’ guys walked the earth and MTV was happy to have programmes dedicated to genres of rock outside of Led Zep or AC/DC and then Grunge was alleged to have almost made a whole scene extinct apart from a few outposts that kept the faith well, 2019 and some of those people who remained true to their roots have come crawling out of the ashes of the past and are once again proud to drape a scarf over their mic stand and wear their attire like they were born to rock rather than some work clothes and sneakers like they’ve just walked in from working on their car. Babylon Shakes are one of those bands – no not work clothes and oily clothes but a band who remember when Tyler and Perry rocked or when Faster Pussycat had the strut on Sunset Blvd.
Without a hint of irony, ‘Exile To The Velveteen Lounge’ can and will be compared to that Debut Faster Pussycat album or pre MTV Aerosmith because that’s where they are coming from or strutting from. Take the second song ‘Sunset Striptease’ its certainly got that sleazy Joe Perry riff happening and the song is a rollicking good time and the fact they are happy to hit that cowbell like its going out of fashion is marvellous. It’s sleazy, loud and a bloody good time and it keeps it rock n rolling and not falling into that cheesy metal field. I think the fact they are wearing their influences on their sleeves and its stretching back into the ’70s for inspiration rather than the 80’s makes this record authentic and above all the songs whilst often have cliched lyrics are pretty decent.
The production is big but it’s not Bon Jovi big and they keep it real without the temptation to add studio trickery or lush keyboards ‘No Pictures Please’ could be The Sweet and it’s impossible not to reference classic Faster Pussycat on songs like ‘Velveteen Liberteen’ and possibly add to that a hint of the Dogs D’Amour swagger.
Similar themes crop up throughout the rest of this album and they don’t stray from their tried and tested comfort zone and there’s nothing wrong with that being a loud sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll band is alright with us and I thought I’d got away without there being the big soft ballad but then ‘Star In Your Eye’ crawled out of the speakers like it’s 7 am and they’ve just got in. It’s a decent arrangement but I’m not convinced it was needed but hey that’s one opinion.
Leaving just ‘Motel Lights’ to rock this bad boy home and with a great rumbling bass line, it certainly does that. I like Babylon Shakes and this album is a very decent affair now if they along with label mates the Prophets Of Addiction can kickstart more bands to follow suit then we might be in for a resurgence of a genre people said was gone forever but we know better folks and on this evidence so do Babylon Kicks. Good Work fellas good work!
Buy Exile To The Velveteen Lounge Here
Author: Dom Daley