ARTIST: BACKYARD BABIES
TITLE: HOMEWRECKERS: SWEET APATHY
LABEL: CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
Currently based in the heart of Sweden, punk rock outfit Backyard Babies are looking to celebrate this year with the release of new music, leading up to the release of their new record, ‘Silver & Gold’.
Playing together since 1989, the group are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and there is never going to be a better way to ring in an anniversary than brand new music. Music that shows just what gives a group that longevity and that urge to keep succeeding in their passion; and it seems that the Swedish rockers have managed to capture this in their latest record.
Following from their 2015 release ‘Four By Four’, the album begins with the briefly nostalgic single ‘Good Morning Midnight’. Released earlier this year, ‘Good Morning Midnight’ begins with a steady guitar riff before going into the accompaniment of frontman Nicke Borg’s vocals. Gaining influence from classic glam rock anthems of the 1970s, the band use effects such as echoed vocals throughout the choruses most notably; and it adds to the overall tone of the track fittingly.
Rock groups in recent times do tend to take from the music they listened to in the past; such as when they were younger and growing up. With tracks, such as ‘Good Morning Midnight’, the evidence presents itself that the sound is one all too familiar to each member and most likely was an influence from early life and possibly played a part in getting them interested in the art form to begin with. The success of such tracks for fans will be that it is true and honest work.
“true and honest work….”
The record’s first single, ‘Shovin’ Rocks’, follows a similar sound and structure of that of classic rock outfits; particularly in the glam rock subgenre such as musical legends Kiss. It’s a standout track on ‘Silver & Gold’ for being one of the more personal ones to the band, and therefore showing off their musical talent to the most passionate extent.
Making references in the chorus to their “thirty years of rock and roll”, this is the ideal way for a group to begin such festivities to celebrate such a terrific milestone in their lives. What will make ‘Shovin’ Rocks’ a fan favourite is because this is the most accurate example of Backyard Babies taking a well-known subgenre from way-back-when and bringing it to the 2010s in their own way without straying too far from its origins.
The album does however include some more contemporary compositions into the mix to keep things modern and fresh to a younger audience, an example being ‘Simple Being Sold’, which takes influence from more of the pop-punk side of the genre.
Showcasing such a punk sound amongst the retro sounds of rock can prove to work in their favour, as it identifies their growing ability to show versatility in their music. Growing, of course, because music tastes change as the times change; to show that they can conquer a range like this throughout thirty years of writing, composing, and performing music.
“catchy, emotional, and memorable music….”
The upbeat nature and air of excitement thins out into a more sombre and melancholic atmosphere as the record reaches its conclusion with the final track, the softer ballad ‘Laugh Now Cry Later’. It brings the party of a track listing to a calm yet depressing end, and despite being a usual feature on most rock records to include at least one slower, piano-led track, it’s never a feature that grows tiring for listeners.
In the 2010s, where most rock and punk acts have adapted and altered their sounds and lyrics to fit what is considered mainstream, it’s forever a rarity to see at least one or two that still pay homage to what helped pave the way for the sound bands are taking on nowadays.
Backyard Babies have shown that using these influences can still come together to form some catchy, emotional, and memorable music; and after thirty years, that says more than words ever can.