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(23:52; Melodic Revolution Records)
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Babal’s ‘The Circle of Confusion Of Tongues’, but somehow felt the issue was more with my listening preferences as opposed to anything inherently wrong with the band, so when this EP arrived, I was looking forward to it. I don’t know if it’s me or the band which have changed, but the things which grated me on the album are now a delight, and the first time I listened to this I played it four times back to back. No-one could ever accuse Babal of not knowing their way around words, and opener “The Involuntary Reflex of the Terminal Bastard” is one of the finest titles I have come across. It is also incredibly dark, intense, massively over the top, filled with invective and power. It took me a while for me to work out what it reminded me of, but eventually it dawned on me that it was making me think of Twelfth Night’s “Creepshow”, even though it sounds nothing like it. The attack is menacing, as Karen Langley rips into the Bastard, which is described by the label as a slow build of soulful rhythms, hooks and grooves underlines a morality tale of the modern narcissist – landlord, politician, parent, partner, sibling; the Bastard is a one-stop character who always has the upper hand – until you decide to stop catching the ball.” I couldn’t have put it better myself. They slow it down with the title track, which features some glorious violin from guest Sarana Verlin, and Karen moves between spoken word and singing, which provides additional nuances. The band is completed by Rob Williams (guitars and synths) and drummer Jon Sharp, just as it was when they released their debut album as Wise Children some twenty years ago. The trio bring in guests as they need them, using what they need to weave their art rock, progressive, David Byrne-inspired Hawkwind look on the world. Just three songs, 23 minutes long, this is a great introduction to the world of Babal.
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