Babe Report: Did You Get Better [Album Review]

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Babe Report
Did You Get Better
Exploding In Sound Records [2024]

Album Overview: Babe Report, originally a lockdown-inspired duo, has expanded into a four-piece band featuring Ben Grigg, Emily Bernstein, Peter Reale, and Mech. They made a notable entry with their debut EP The Future of Teeth (2022) before releasing their debut album Did You Get Better. The album consists of ten tracks and runs just under thirty minutes, offering a concise yet impactful listening experience. Recorded over a single weekend in November 2023 at Radon Ranch, the basement studio of band members Ben Grigg and Emily Bernstein, the album captures the immediacy and raw energy of the band’s sound. The album benefits from the expanded lineup, with Peter Reale on drums and Mech on bass, adding new layers and dimensions to the band’s sound, as the record just explodes at points with no notice. The recording process utilized unique prototype microphones, contributing to the distinctive auditory texture of the album. With its mix of frenetic energy, melodic grooves, and thought-provoking lyrics, Did You Get Better positions Babe Report as a band to watch, as their blend of spontaneity and craftsmanship signals a bold new chapter.

Musical Style: The album showcases a fusion of 90s-style guitars and melodic grooves, creating a blend of intensity and melody. The music is full of energetic riffs, pounding speaker popping drums and dynamic arrangements.

Evolution of Sound: From their initial EP, Babe Report has progressed to a more refined and fuller sound with the addition of new members. The album reflects this growth with its richer instrumentation and more precision-based production.

Artists with Similar Fire: Babe Report evokes the sound of bands like The Breeders, Yo La Tengo, and early Smashing Pumpkins, given the blend of noise, melody, and energetic performances. The group also fits perfectly with label mates Ovlov and Washer.

Pivotal Tracks: Key tracks include “Turtle of Reaper,” with its ripping post-punk beginning and high-energy critique of media fear-mongering; “Universal,” with its balance of restraint and heavy guitar that evokes Veruca Salt’s “Seether”; and “Allergy 2000,” which stands out with its dynamic tempo shifts and memorable guitar lines.

Lyrical Strength: The album’s lyrics offer a unique perspective, influenced by the band’s surroundings in Jefferson Park and their experiences. Themes range from societal critiques to personal reflections, delivered with a distinct and engaging voice.

Instagram | Bandcamp | Exploding In Sound Records

Thomas Wilde

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