Baby Chaos – Out Of The Silence

When I first watched BABY CHAOS’ video for “Hello Victim” in 1994, I couldn’t tell if they were grungy pop, glam, indie, alternative, noise/power pop or something else, but I knew I loved it. While many of their contemporaries were experimenting with the fusion of genres like metal and hip-hop, BABY CHAOS mixed completely different ingredients in their own special way. Good news, BABY CHAOS are back with a new album (“Skulls Skulls Skulls Show Me The Glory”), and are still unique! Chris Gordon answered a few questions…

When have you decided to bring BABY CHAOS back to life?

Four or five years ago we were asked by our old friend Ginger Wildheart to reform for a one-off show in Glasgow. He has been such a fantastic ambassador for Baby Chaos and Deckard that we really couldn’t say no. Rehearsals were okay but it was really the show itself which gave us the bump to get writing again, all the old songs felt quite vital and fresh as we performed and I don’t really think any of us expected that. It was as if the intervening years and our own maturity imbued them with a new sense of purpose. Anyway we decided to try writing as none of us wanted to dwell on the past and we thought it may be interesting to see where it went 20 or so years on.

You started recording “Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory” in 2013. Was it more comfortable for you to take so much time?

It was comfortable yes, but also it’s just the way it panned out. There was no deadline and no rush and it’s just as well as we all have busy lives and it was only really possible this one way.

Do you think that the album would have sounded pretty much the same if it had been released in 1997 after “Love Your Self Abuse”?

100% no.  Of course we were conscious of the lineage and that had an influence on a few of the songs but in terms of what is possible for production and how I have changed as a songwriter (and lyric writer) I think a 3rd BC album in 1997 would have been very different to this album.

The album is out on French record label Kicking Records, you also appeared on French TV shows in the 90s, and your video for “Hello Victim” was on national TV here. How come things have always been good to you in France? In what other countries did BABY CHAOS do good? Did you tour in the USA?

I don’t know why France took to the music, it was a lovely surprise for us at the time. We had some fans at big TV stations and obviously having that kind of exposure is great for a young band. Perhaps it was the image, we did not look at all typical for a rock band and also the artwork for the first album was from a French photographer, so maybe people like this connection. Yes we toured the USA it was only for a few months and the best gigs were supporting ELASTICA plus a few other festivals, there were some really terrible gigs too but I suppose you have to expect that in such a massive country, it’s like touring the whole of Europe and expecting the same response from Greece to Finland. Every state has its own media and tastes and althought the coasts are fairly enlightened everything inbetween is a lottery.

In the 90s, you weren’t an easy band to label, you were not “Brit pop”, “grunge”, or whatever… Was it a good thing for you, or a bad one? The good thing about it is that your two first albums don’t sound dated as a consequence.

We never deliberately tried to position ourselves anywhere that is for sure. We grew up kind of out the way in Ayrshire then Glasgow which at the time (as now) was a totally mixed bag of musical styles and tastes. I think there was a big development between the 1st and 2nd albums and it would have been interesting if things had taken flight after album 2 to see what a 3rd at that time might have been. Some things happened around the release of the 2nd album that kind of sealed our fate with our record label in the UK. For one Davy got sick and we had to cancel our album tour after only 4 shows (we didn’t even make it out of Scotland, then our A&R guy Nathan left East West and although they stuck with us at the request of Atlantic in America (as they wanted to release the album) we had no-one really fighting our corner at our label anymore. I think the first album sounds quite dated to be honest but not so much the second one. Its rock music though and as such it never really sates in the same way as pop.

BABY CHAOS turned into DECKARD in 1998. Why this change? I remember I bought your CDs as imports, did the band suffer from a lack of promotion?

We had a choice after East West, we could have kept going as BC, we had some offers to do so but I sensed a chage in me and that the next album I wanted to do would be to different to call it a Baby Chaos album. We signed a pretty big deal with REPRISE in LA as Callahan but later had to change the name to Deckard (a small group from Chicago had already sold 300 copies of a single as Callaghan) upon such small facts the fate of a band can be decided. We spent a huge sum recording a good album that the head of the label was talking up to anyone who would listen, then the name change coupled with the rise of Limp Bizkit and there ilk put paid to our momentum. It has since been proved with the rise and rise of Muse that there was a real appetite for the kind of music we were making but record companies are very fickle and in the moment beasts.

The music industry has changed a lot since BABY CHAOS’ first album. How do you feel about it?

I love it, it’s now all about how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. In essence you are now able to do all the promotional things yourself that you used to need a record company for. You can make videos for peanuts and sell music wthout even having to print up a CD, you can take your band photos on an iphone if you so choose (not that we did hahaha)
The rub is that you could be the best band in the world but if you sit on your hands and do nothing no-one will ever know about you and nothing will ever happen for you. Excepting of course those rare individuals of true genius whose talents are so obvious that they will always find a way to be heard.

How do you work as a producer? Do you mostly record bands live?

Quite rarely do I record bands totally live. There are two occasions that I might, the first being if the band are particularly on it and have it all worked out well in advance of meeting me. The second being if there is a quality in their chaos that will get lost by tracking parts individually. Mostly I have found that the music benefits from having the spotlight of recording each part individually. There is often not the luxury of pre-production to work everything out so often you are tinkering with parts or scrapping them entirely, as you go.

What are ther last albums you’ve enjoyed, both musically and productionwise?

Probably my favourite two bands of the last decade are Sigur Ros and TV On The Radio. Although I still like rock music I very rarely listen to it other than a few tracks at time. I saw Laura Marling playing a few weeks ago and had such a huge smile on my face by the end, she is an incredibly talented person. Really outside of my work (which I love) I don’t listen to a lot of music, perhaps if I am on a journey I can catch up with some albums or some old friends of albums but it’s rare. We are on tour in September so I will fill my ipod and take my best headphones with me hahahaha.

I read that you’re playing at Camden Rocks Festival, any European tour planned yet?

We are planning a few shows in France but I have no news of the dates yet, hopefully they will be later this year though.

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Black Cat Rebellion – Look What The Black Cat Dragged In!

Since BLACK CAT REBELLION’s “Lovers Of The Bizarre” is one of the best albums we have heard these last months, we wanted to know more about them. Singer Brad St. Patrick tells us more about BLACK CAT REBELLION and his impeccable tastes…

There’s not that much information about BLACK CAT REBELLION online. Can you introduce the band?

Black Cat was formed from a plot to make rock n roll dark and dangerous again. We spent the first few years touring as a three piece. We took a short break, recruited a fourth member, and came back mean and have been hitting it hard with an ugly stick.

You’ve just released your new album “Lovers Of The Bizarre”, can you tell us about it and its recording?

The album is made by, for, and about weirdos. Rock n roll was not intended to be appropriated for the conventional.
We consider this our first true album, and for a reason. We gave it everything we had. Every bit of us is in there. The production, the mixing, all of it. We didn’t want a polished eunuch. Unconventional sounds and mixing have given it character. Don Hogle (of The New Void/The Messengers) did a great job of helping us capture that. We chose Rob Bartleson to master because of his recent work with The Cry.

Is the album available on vinyl?

Soon. This album has been entirely self-funded. The shows we play and the merch we sell got us this far. A vinyl release is the next step, funded by those who purchase the disc/download it and come see us live.

Why 9 songs? This is an unusual format for an album.

A couple of reasons. Nine is a number that often appears in supernatural culture and mythologies. Also, we wanted the album to hit hard and fast, and (hopefully) leave the listener wanting more. No filler. Nothing overstays it’s welcome.


You covered SIOUXSIE AND The BANSHEES’ “Love In a Void”, you seem to have influences ranging from punk rock’n’roll to postpunk/goth rock… What bands had a strong influence on BLACK CAT REBELLION?

We love the ones that did it their way. IGGY was hungry and savage. The Cramps were strange and crawled out from under the 50s/60s punk garage. The Rolling Stones were gypsies. TSOL were messed up and morose. Anything Stiv Bator(s) did was frustrated, but honest and fun. The Damned were wild and theatric. Nick Cave‘s words were a slap in the face. Siouxsie had that kind of beauty that would bite if you got too close.
Of course, anything in garage or glam’s shadow worked for us. A lot of first wave/early punk and postpunk/goth is in rotation at home base. The former was great before it came with a uniform and persona. The latter was best before it knew it had a name. Sisters of Mercy, Alien Sex Fiend, Death Cult, early Cure and Gary Numan/Tubeway Army… All that.

You seem to have toured quite a lot in the US. What are some of your favourite cities to play? Best shows to date?

Cincinnati’s scene, Long Beach’s hospitality, NYC was a hell of an experience, Louisville, Chicago, SLC. We did Oranje Art Festival in Indy and felt at home. Drop Dead Fest was a blast. House parties are a guaranteed good time, probably our favorites to play because you can really feel the pulse of the crowd— we’ll take a house party in any city, any time!

Can you tell us a bit about Indianapolis? Best places to see band? Record shops, other cool bands, etc.?

Indianapolis is a pissed off middle child! Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn is the CBGBs of the Midwest. The HiFi in Fountain Square is great. Hell, that whole area is… Radio Radio, White Rabbit, etc. There’s a lot of great cretins keeping the flame alive.

What are your favourite American bands at the moment?

That’s a tough one… Modern bands? The Lustkillers, The Cry, Biters, The New Void, Wyldlife, We Are Hex, Brothers Gross, Burnt Ones, Lost Tribe, Hunx and His Punx…I’m probably leaving some out. I think I may be European on this question…

5 albums you can’t live without, and a few words about them?

Crossing the Red Sea with The Adverts
It’s everything you wished the Sex Pistols were.

Is Nothing Sacred?” by Lords of the New Church
You can shake and makeout to it. You can also secretly hate the world and what it’s become. 😉

Exile on Main Street” by Rolling Stones
I’m sure everyone knows the history on this one. You can feel it in the songs.

Friend or Foe” by Adam Ant
Glam, new wave, whatever. It’s fun and it has an Oscar Wilde/libertine kinda vibe.

In The Flat Field” by Bauhaus
Powerful and to the point, pushing into the depths of the human psyche.

What’s next for BLACK CAT REBELLION? Any chance to see BLACK CAT REBELLION in Europe?

We’re working on putting together a music video and the vinyl release of “Lovers Of The Bizarre“, of course. Beyond that…who knows?! Lots of touring, I’m sure. If you want to see us live, play the album for others. Where there’s enough of you, we’ll come – U.S., Europe, anywhere! You want more music? Spread the best bad words and keep the flame alive.
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Lipstick “S/T”

Introduced as a band that was formed after their lead singer and leader, Greg Troyan travelled through space, LIPSTICK is a theatrical glam influenced band from Nashville, TN. While you’ll find a good dose of L.A. glam metal in songs like “We’re Here To Rock You”, “The Conan Song” or “Alone”, LIPSTICK also brings 70s KISS, or the NEW YORK DOLLS to mind in “I Like The Way I Rock”, or “Having Fun.” The production is quite raw and sometimes reminds me of the early 90s Sunset Strip bands demos, which isn’t a bad thing to me, although a bubblegum rock, glitter pop song like “Tonight” would probably sound better with a bigger production.
While this album’s mood is definitely fun, LIPSTICK gets to surprise us with the last song, “I Want The World To Know”, a sad piano ballad that sounds way better than the typical power ballads you can hear on most glam metal revival bands nowadays.
LIPSTICK‘s colourful universe also seems to be connected to its members’ interest in anime, which probably makes them very Japanese friendly!
“Rock’n’Roll Forever” perfectly sums up the band’s spirit, and if you think that fun, fantasy and flamboyance have been missing for too long in music, then this album is for you./Laurent C.
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Kore Kosmou “S/T”

KoreKosmouKORE KOSMOU is the project of Holeg Spies (French film/arts producer/composer), singer/song writer Ariel Electron, and ex-BAD LOSERS guitarist Thierry Jones (now in The JONES.) This album is all about experimenting with different atmospheres/moods, a bit like a movie soundtrack, and this is all reinforced by various special guests such as Jon Klein (SPECIMEN, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES), East Bay Ray (DEAD KENNEDYS), and Patrick Savage (ROYAL PHILARMONIC ORCHESTRA.) You’ll get some ambient/electronica (“Stolen Light”, “Eternal Return”, “We Create Reality”), and trip-hop (“Dream Agent”, “Abracadabra”) wrapped up with mysticism and indian references (“Cherokee Witch.”)
The mix of all these influences brings us some great moments, like the uncategorizable” Children Of The Stars” (the remix version definitely sounds like a movie soundtrack) or the electro-industrial dance hit “Ride.” Cosmic cinematic!/Laurent C.
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Buy from Howlin’ Wolf Records

Raging Dead “Born In Rage” EP

New horror punk band from Italy bringing us 6 (well, actually 5 since “Awakening Of The Damned” is an intro) songs with heavy WEDNESDAY 13/MURDERDOLLS influences, and an image close to Sweden’s SISTER, something like black metal meets glam on a Halloween night.
The guitar sound in songs like “Scratch Me”, or “Anathema” is definitely metal, but the raw punk energy you can hear in the vocals and backing vocals make these tracks sound quite wild. No time to breathe, “Redemption” could even be a hardcore kid’s favourite, while “Nightstalker” will make headbangers sing along, and “Vengeance” will make you scream like Rob Halford in a slasher film.
I was about to say that I’m looking forward to listening to a full album, but the EP format actually works well with this genre./Laurent C.

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The Legendary Pink Dots/kETvECTOR “The Shock Exchange”

Very limited (299) transparent vinyl record store day edition to celebrate the meeting of avant-garde/industrial rock pioneers The LEGENDARY PINK DOTS and Justin Bennett (SKINNY PUPPY drummer)’s project kETvECTOR.
The LEGENDARY PINK DOTS offer us 3 dark and quiet (sometimes almost ambient songs coloured with psychedelic and electronica arrangements.) You can actually hear the strong influence they had on SKINNY PUPPY in these songs, so sharing this record with kETvECTOR only appears as natural, although kETvECTOR‘s music is even more progressive, subtly mixing ambient atmospheres to oriental melodies and free-jazz drum beats.
The artwork includes paintings from Franke Nardiello (aka Groovie Mann) of MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT.
“The Shock Exchange” is not only an interesting meeting, it also perfectly works as a unit./Laurent C.

Ordre from Rustblade

Black Cat Rebellion “Lovers Of The Bizarre”

Let’s be honest, there’s unfortunately not much left of the early 00s punk’n’roll and glam punk scenes, and new blood is harder and harder to find… BLACK CAT REBELLION, from Indianapolis have been playing for a while now, touring across the US, and luckily, they haven’t laid down their arms, bringing us this brand new 9 song album.
Black-hearted rock’n’roll with a DEAD BOYS twist (“Hex On You”) and smart LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH touches (“Kiss Me Kamikaze”, “Sex and Death”), these guys are seducers. Songs like “Too Strange” and “Blood Donor” seem like they can hit you quite hard live, and more melodic ones like “Out With a Bang” or “Yesterday’s Hero” show us a different, yet enjoyable side of the band. Enough energy for the punks, and enough substance for goth and dark rock fans, “Lovers Of The Bizarre” will please your appetite for Rebellion. Let’s hope we’ll get to see BLACK CAT REBELLION in Europe soon!/Laurent C.
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Baby Chaos “Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory”

BabyChaosSkullThis is quite an unexpected comeback! Scotland’s BABY CHAOS, one of the best UK bands of the 90s to me, along with SUEDE, The MANIC STREET PREACHERS, THERAPY?, and The WILDHEARTS; one of the rare bands that released a second album (“Love Your Self Abuse”, 1996) as good as their debut “Safe Sex, Designer Drugs & The Death of Rock’n’Roll” (1994), are back with all the original members in, and none has a beard! It almost sounds to good to be true.
Although I enjoyed DECKARD (late 90s BABY CHAOS incarnation), the name change also meant a slight change of musical direction, with songs sometimes reminding of MUSE. On this new album, “The Whispering Of Giants”, and “Blackbirds” actually sound close to DECKARD, but most songs just sound as if there never was 19 years in between this new album and “Love Your Self Abuse.” BABY CHAOS hits hard from the start with an in-your-face “You Can’t Shut Us Up”, and Chris Gordon’s production perfectly fits the band as usual. Some of these songs can definitely stand next to the band’s best earlier work, just listen to “Have Faith In Yourself”, “Poison Ivy Girls”,”Out Of The Silence”, or “A Tingling On Your Bright Skin”, a brilliant power pop song full of melancholy.
BABY CHAOS‘ fabulous pop melodies and punk energy still mix together in “P P P Peaches”, or in “We Were Youth”, and the band’s taste for experimenting with noisy pop and heavy rock can be found in “Risk and Writhing” and in “Habibi.”
“Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory” makes me realize how much I’ve missed BABY CHAOS, and by chance, it is also the cure for it./Laurent C.

Buy from Kicking Records