Review Summary: In short terms, this album surprised me.
I first heard of Made Out of Babies
when I heard of Battle of Mice
, since they share the same singer, Julie Christmas (who by the way, which I will mention many times, is a beast of a singer.) I checked this band out on a whim because of the amazing vocal performance by Julie on "A Day of Nights."
In short terms, this album surprised me. I'll start off with the vocals. Julie Christmas is a damn beast of a singer, with her scream so incredibly bone chilling but emotional (think like a female Dustin Kensrue here, that's how I see it), and her singing one of a kind of anyone in the music scene (if you know anyone who sounds like her, I'd love to know). I'd go as far to say that as of now, she is my favorite female singer. The musicianship is also top notch, with great bass lines audible throughout the whole album, with the drums laying out the other half of the rhythm in a different way (I have a hard time describing how I feel about them.) The guitar work is also very fine on here, with some chrushing riffs, to some bone chilling finger work (notably in the chorus of the first song, "Choker").
Made Out of Babies started out in 2005 with their debut album, Trophy
. They are best described as a mix between noise rock band Jesus Lizard
and post-metal band Isis
. This, in effect, makes this band a very hard band to categorize, and I, for one, find that post-hardcore fits their music the best. Although in some songs, such as "The Major," you hear a very heavy influence of grunge in the chorus, or in other epic songs such as the 7 minute "Stranger", you have a song that sounds like it could go on an Isis cd. And "Peew," on the other hand, reminds me a lot of "Kill Me Quickly" by Thrice (don't ask me how I made that connection).
Describing the album as a whole, the first song kicks it off well, but this album shines through the second half, with most of it's greatest tracks appearing on the later half.
Your first introduction the Julie's powerful screams are the beginning and chorus of the first song, Choker. I think she has someone screaming under her in the beginning, but her screams are great because it goes along with the huge explosion of sound that is the beginning. Also, her screams of "Run, run for your life!"
with the guitar in the background will creep up your spine and actually make you think that the end of the world is coming.
I believe that the bass player here should get some special recognition here. He is the main foundation of the band, laying down the canvas with extremely well played bass lines that shine throughout the whole album, but never take over a song, nor does he try to be flashy with super extravagant bass lines.
The lyrics on most of this album are very strange, and it all has to do with the way Julie writes the lyrics. In an interview with Decibel magazine about how she wrote her lyrics to "A Day of Nights" shows a glimpse of how the lyrics on this album (and all of their albums for that matter) can be interpreted:
Originally Posted by interview
"I don't even always write lyrics as myself, or even from a human point of view. First I create a character, then I inhabit it. I might pretend to be a hinge on a door, and write from its perspective." Maybe it's the hinge talk, or maybe the cell connection."
In conclusion, what makes this album standout from the plethora of other acts out today? I truly believe that Made Out of Babies is an extraordinary band that I will have to keep my eye on. Whether it's the erratic guitar work, or the smooth but great bass lines, or the stomping vocal performance of Julie, this is a band that proves their worth very early on.
A solid 4/5