Baby Scream “Fan, Fan, Fan”
Argentina’s power pop sensation Baby Scream is back. Juan Pablo Mazzola got together with his good friend Nick Schinder and recorded about 200 songs in a massive recording session, and they had enough material for great 2 LPs. This one and The Worst of Baby Scream, which collects demos, covers and other stray tracks. Fan, Fan, Fan songs fit together along a similar theme and each song dovetails into the next.
Juan Pablo’s Lennonesque vocals combined with his crunchy pop guitars and pissed off lyrics make a great combination here. “Everybody Sucks” is a solid angry rant followed by the slow burning “Back To Douche” and the rocking “Loner” are a perfect 3 punch combo of angst and regret. These songs all clock in under 3 minutes each (except “The Girl Next Next Door”). He paints a lonely picture on the dense “A Human Being On Mars” and the catchy riffs are all over the aptly named “Captain Hook” with a satisfying solo between the chorus. Even though it slows down a little midway through it still delivers greatness on the ballads “Haters Will Hate” and “Just For A While.” Juan Pablo has a biting sense of humor on “The Kitty Song” where he speaks in the voice of the biggest a-hole cat ever. The smart curation of these songs from the recording session make this my favorite Baby Scream album to date. It’s so good, it gets my first nomination for best album of 2015! Don’t miss this one.
Bubble Gum Orchestra “Beyond Time”
Once again ELO super-fan Michael Laine Hildebrandt returns to give us a “sequel” to the ELO 1981 classic Time. Hildebrandt starts with familiar electronic synths leading to the main riff of “23rd Century Woman,” one of the highlights. But my favorite is “Trans Form Her” chock full of tech wordplay along a similar theme of loving a robot girl, which leads to the obvious “I’m in Love with a Robot.” “Earth Below Me” is a captivating electronic prog rock gem that soothes and inspires.
Michael is also getting much better at using the style for compositions, instead of merely imitating it. He still isn’t above some hero worship, as “ELO Forever” lists about 28 song titles in the lyrics. Still, this is a fun, enjoyable album with some very nice production work throughout the synth-guitar melodies. If you enjoy your rock with a space opera twist this will float your boat.