There are (more or less) three strands of punk rockers: the irreverent pranksters of the Ramones, the serious revolutionaries of Crass, and the visionary poet, like Patti Smith. Pretty much every band to come through the scene since has combined those three influences in various proportions. No-one is ever going to accuse Baby Baby of being influenced by Crass or Patti Smith. And that's not a problem at all. Hell, they call their music “fun rock.” This is music not just designed to be the soundtrack to a party, but to incite one. Their new album Big Boy Baller Club isn't likely to change the world, but damn it if it won't change your mood.
By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor
The album kicks off with a spoken intro explaining the rules of the Big Boy Baller Club over a synth line straight from some educational Flash game. You are now officially one of Fontez, Kyle, Grant, Colin, and Ryan's Best Franz. The new record is full of all the things that made Baby Baby's last album Money so glorious: giant goofy hooks, pounding guitars, and periodic bursts of pure unfiltered weird. This is a band that takes not taking itself seriously very seriously. “Turnip” explodes over a cowbell beat into a party rock anthem. “We got rock em sock em robots for lil’ lambrogini / If you do not feel then no not worry bout the meaning / Yeah we like to have some fun, but that does not void out the feeling” is a pretty clear mission statement.
Album highlights like “Can't Spell Conch Without the 'CH'” “Best Franz” and “Keep On Dancing” shows a band with boundless creativity and inventiveness despite the fact that nearly every song's goal is to get you moving. They may mostly only hit one note, but it's a damn good note, and they find a surprising amount of depth in it. A lot of that comes down to the tightness of the band, and the classic showmanship of frontman Fontez. The man pours every bit of himself into the microphone in service of keeping everyone dancing. It's as if keeping the party going is the most important thing in the world to him and his merry band of pranksters. That enthusiasm is contagious.
The record closes on an unexpectedly deep note. The one-two punch of “Heavy Hearts Club” and the surprisingly poignant “Outro” shows the loneliness and frustration the day after the party. Bank accounts empty, and the love found last night just walked out the door. The “Outro” drives it home further over the same synth bleeps from the “Intro.” But it wouldn't be Baby Baby without some sort of wry smile to undercut it all. After quoting the lyrics to “Heavy Hearts Club” the last word is a self-mockingly self-congratulatory “poetic.” Sure. Why not? What's not poetic about the best damn house party ever?