Thursday, May 7, 2015
Cassette Review: Babewatch "Guys Hanging Out" (Paisley Shirt Records)
[$5 // https://paisleyshirtrecords.bandcamp.com/album/guys-hanging-out]
If you are like me and grew up in the 1990's with puberty, then you might have very easily confused the name of the show "Baywatch" with "Babewatch" and so whenever I see the name Babewatch for this cassette all I can think of are waves, sand, surfboards and those little red floating things the lifeguards carry to help people who are drowning. Oh yeah, and bright sunny skies. We've had a few sunny days here and already I'm taking it for granted by not pointing it out like I would have even a few short weeks ago.
That being said, the name Babewatch does seem fitting here as this has an underlying quality of surf rock throughout the CD. I have to go back to one of my favorite compilations here for a moment and think of "Music For Our Mother Ocean" which had songs by just so many great and amazing bands and in some ways I feel like even if Babewatch wasn't aiming for a surf theme on all of their songs, it still has that feeling of creating something to serve that general purpose (Much in the way a band such as No Doubt, for example, wasn't really about the ocean in my view but stepped it up for said compilation)
The songs can also come out with a steady influence of The Mr. T Experience, "That Thing You Do!" and The Replacements. Those bands do tend to mix sometimes, but not that often and never in this way. It's the harmonies of that dreamy fuzz laced punk that you know could be a thing if someone was only just doing it and then here comes Babewatch showing you how it can be done.
With this, of course, come the obligatory pieces of garage but then on Side B the songs seem to somehow take a turn for the punk (which still maintains that overall surf quality though) They remind me of some sort of early era Lookout! Records band with these background guitar riffs that could make the Vandals in their prime say, "Oh yeah, I'm stealing that!" It's those combinations of ooooohhhh's and aaahhhhh's, but yet when I'm normally taken to someone's random garage or a show such as you would find in the movie "That Thing You Do!", Babewatch continues to just make me think of the beach.
Now, if you were listening to music at the beach it could be in any number of ways. There is definite boom box beach music, but that's too confined for Babewatch. There is also that live band playing while the audience is in the sand type of deal but that's too much of a clambake for Babewatch. I feel like Babewatch has its own quality somehow, with a genre we just haven't seen yet. You have to imagine a band playing live at the X-Games and there are skateboards flying over their heads as they sing. Well, it'd be the same type of idea for Babewatch only with the beach instead of vert ramp. How you work out the symantics of the sand and electricity is beyond me, but I'm not here for the logistics I'm here to rock.