Backyard Babies “Four By Four”
When Backyard Babies went on an extended break, many of us doubted that we would hear from them again. That would have been a huge shame given they have always been one of the best exponents of melody driven, punk, rock n roll. Thankfully, after various solo activities, they are back with the release of this new album.
On opening number “Thirt3en Or Nothing”, they seem pretty intent on demonstrating that they have lost none of their passion or aggression. Whilst the punk flavour matches that seen on their classic Total 13 album, there is also a harder edge which actually reminds us of Skid Row’s “Slave To The Grind”. The band’s calling card has always been delivering what are effectively rock n roll songs but with a punk spirit. They deliver this in spades on this album, with tracks such as “On My Way To Save Your Rock N Roll” (an apt title if ever there was one) and “White Light District”.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, Backyard Babies have also had the ability to take their foot off the pedal and focus on the melody without descending into clichés. Admittedly, “Blood Tears” is a fairly typical rock ballad, but “Mirrors” is a top tune driven by a glorious melody and the sort of song you just wished would be a huge radio hit.
It’s that ear for a good tune that makes Backyard Babies such a great punk rock band. Songs like “Piracy” and “Never Feel Anything” are scuzzy punk rock tracks but are still built on the core of being melodic and appealing. A song like “Wasted Years” is really what pop/punk should be about. Also, even after all these years, they aren’t afraid to mix it up a bit. Final song “Walls” starts off with an almost gothic swing and Americana vibe but then, like a snake shedding it’s skin, transforms into a harder song with an almost Metallica feel.
There can be no doubt that this new album represents not only a welcome return but also a triumphant one. There is no doubt that it will be lapped up by their army of existing fans and, who knows, maybe it can introduce a new generation to the band. The band are also due to tour the UK shortly and given they always more than deliver live, we will also be lucky enough to hear these songs being played live, which will probably take them up yet another gear, so we can’t wait!