Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Halloween Music

Stolen Babies: weird gothy metal carnival bandIt's been a while since I've talked about the free room and the cool, dumb, or bizarre stuff I find there. This time I'm going to introduce you to Stolen Babies, one of those bands who randomly attracted my attention via bizarre cover art and, yes, a strange name. In this case, I was further intrigued by the liner notes, which list band members and guest artists who play such instruments as toy accordion, glockenspiel, jaw harp, tuba, euphonium, and "unsheathed daggers." Now I had to listen to this.

Before I give my take, here's how their website describes their music: "quirky-Goth, prog-pop, metal, cabaret, punk, art-rock, thrash, industrial, and 'I don't know what the hell fun songs.'"

I'm going with "Halloween music." Perhaps it is because of the time of year, but I was hooked right away by the band's weird Gothy metal carnival sound, and I've listened to nothing but this album all day at work. In fact, the album, There Be Squabbles Ahead, is out in stores just today.

I don't know that Squabbles is something I would listen to on a regular basis, but there are some really cool and interesting songs on here, among them "Filistata," "Lifeless," and "Push Button," the video of which is cool in a Tim Burtonesque kind of way.

I couldn't help but think of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes or The October Country, beloved classics to me, when listening to these guys. But there's a down side: The singer, Dominique Persi, has a lovely voice and really can sing, but in many of the songs she lapses into this emo-metal-hardcore-grindcore-whateverthefuckcore screaming that shares a greater kinship with nails on a chalkboard than with singing. This won't bother fans of such things, but it tends to make me cringe. So, unsurprisingly, my favorites on the album are the ones where the screaming is minimal or nonexistent.

Overall, a cool find. Check out the neato video for "Push Button," see their label site, or visit their MySpace page for more songs.