Ahhhh, Baboon... One of my favorite bands, Baboon, has a brand new, self-titled CD coming out today, October 10 (Happy Birthday to me...). The Denton and Dallas-based Baboon has been together since 1991 and has gone through several lineup changes (their original drummer was Will Johnson, now of Centro-matic fame), but this is their first album with second guitarist, James Henderson, and it's a doozy. Over the course of the band's history, they've released three full-lengths (Face Down in Turpentine, Secret Robot Control, Something Good is Going to Happen To You), two EPs (We Sing and Play, the Numb E.P.), and one live album (A Bum Note and A Bead of Sweat), not mention three cassette tapes, three 7-inch singles, and have appeared on various compilations.
The band was part of the "Fraternity of Noise," a group of bands that also includes Brutal Juice and Caulk, that epitomized the Denton music scene in the early-90's. The emergence of Baboon and other similarly-minded bands was timed perfectly with my discovery of independent music and was noisy and dissonant enough to ensure not too many other people would get it or be into it. But a funny thing happened on the way to 2006 - Baboon shed most of its noisier tendencies and gradually, release by release, improved it's knack for crafting the perfect pop hook, to the point where, today, the band is as much a powerpop band as it is a noisy rock band. The shift has suited the band, who rarely plays outside of Texas, well.
Over the years, I saw the band at a number of venues around Texas including Trees, the Orbit Room, Rick's, Ridglea, Clearview, the Double-wide, and Curtain Club. Their live performances never fail to disappoint, and serve as good a venue as possible to hear such anthems as "Evil", "Sucker", "Lush Life", "Rise", "Why'd You Say Die", and "Master Salvatoris"; and they're bound to throw in one epilepsy-inducing noise-fest along the lines of "I'm OK if You're OK", "California Dreaming", or "Bring Me the Head of Jack Skinner."
The first single from the new album, "Breaking Glass," brings all of the band's touchstones together into one barnburner of a track - barbed-wire guitars, Andrew Huffstetler's vocals pushed right up to the front of the mix, a hook you'll be hard pressed to forget, and a nice little feedback interlude to break things up. If there's any justice in this world, this is the album that will make Baboon a household name. Listen to songs from the new album here. You can buy the album online here.
Now if we can only get them to record and release "Watch the World Explode"...
Baboon - Breaking Glass
(from the We Sing and Play EP)
Baboon - Rise
Baboon - Lush Life
Baboon - Angels
Baboon - Endlessly
Baboon - Closer
Baboon - 012 Seconds
(from the Save Me 7" single)
Baboon - Disappointed (via the Unoffical Baboon webpage)
(from the Dallas Observer Scene, Heard Volume III compilation):
Baboon - Tidal Wave
Here's a picture I took years ago of a Baboon show at the Curtain Club in Dallas:
This one's from Trees:
And this one's of me playing Andrew's trombone at Trees (insert joke here):
Baboon's video for "Evil":
Baboon's video for "Closer":
Electronic Press Kit:
Bonus: I am loving the new ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead CD, So Divided, way more than Worlds Apart. They play at the Gargoyle, on Washington University's campus on Oct. 29 with the Blood Brothers. That's a tiny venue, so it's guaranteed to sell out. Get your tickets now. Pre order the new album HERE.
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Stand in Silence