Tuesday, July 11, 2006
This mid nineties Scottish band released two albums with both great names and cover art work, and I'm pleased to say that after having dug out their two offerings recently that their music is standing the test of time. I had the pleasure of seeing them when they were touring their first album in November 1995. Whet really struck me was how they came over as one of the last real touring bands. By this period it was very rare to see a band on tour with their own PA system, bands tended to rely on local promoters or halls to provide what was necessary, but Baby Chaos had their own rig, nice big heavy tatty wooden boxes filled with all you needed to make a loud rock noise and break a roadies back. Upon chatting to the band I discovered that the reason they toured with their own PA was that it was build by friend and he had done a great job as they delivered an excellent set despite the audience not being too numerous.
A little bit of history Baby Chaos come from the beef raising area of the highlands known as Ayrshire, formed by Chris Gordon, when he realised he would not make the grade as an international footballer and Grant McFarlane the bands line up gelled in early 1993 and they started gigging on the notorious toilet circuit ie wherever you could get a gig. They were rewarded with a contract with East West in August of the same year and continued touring the following year they played 130 uk gigs and cemented a lasting relationship with Elastica. Inbetween their live appearances they recorded their debut album 'Safe Sex, Designer Drugs And The Death Of Rock And Roll' which was released in 1995, it was while touring this album that I saw them, they also made their first trip to the States supporting Elastica. They released a second album 'Love your Self Abuse' in 1996 and as with their debut, lack of record company interest did not help sales despite the glowing critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Health problems led to drummer Davy Greenwood quitting the band, the remaining three members regrouped with a new drummer under the name Deckard, and are still a going concern today.
Some chosen phrases from different critics to describe the band:
"A bit of nasal anger and hooks from Smashing Pumpkins and some of the dextrously choppy guitars made popular by Helmet mixed with a bit of sensuality"
"Melodies, passion, loud guitars and lots of catchy but twisted lyrics"
"Metal edged aggression added to power pop keeps boredom at bay"
"Instantly memorable surge of melody and power"
"Penchnat for the sharpest of hooks while matching the Wildhearts for wide eyed pop abandon"
"Outrageously infectious pop"
The common thread in all of these quotes is their classic pop sensibility married with their energy, they were not the most original band in the world and I would agree that they owe a certain debt to Smashing Pumpkins but what they did they did well and it still gives me pleasure listing to them. Try 'Superpowered' from their debut album or the 'Kicking Things' from 'Love Your Self Abuse' both of which are still present in Deckard's live sets.