By The Beautiful New Born Children
Michael Becket - AKA Kptmichigan and member of experimental German electro group Schneider TM's live band - returns to his indie-rock roots fronting new outfit The Beautiful New Born Children. This, their debut LP, is a collection of blisteringly fast lo-fi garage-rock/punk which, had it been released before The Strokes came along with 'Is this it?', Kings of Leon with 'Youth and Young Manhood' and anything Pete Doherty has ever touched, it might not seem to be sprinting down such a well trodden path.
There are many other problems with this album apart from the fact that it's desperately trying to find space to hammer yet another nail into the coffin of the garage-rock revivalist movement. Primarily, there's virtually nothing but clipped distorted power chords, add to that the fact that the songs follow the same pattern and also more or less the same simple jumpy rhythm and you're left with very little that makes any impact. Play the album more than twice in a row and you're crying out for something different, something with some more depth. There's no smooth to complement all the rough and as a result nothing stands out, tracks fade into an anonymous blur with each one almost indistinguishable from its predecessor. The vocals which start off clear and witty become progressively more distorted to the point that they're indecipherable and add very little to the overall texture.
There is a complete lack of movement from this pattern until halfway through the final track. 'Up and Down and Round and Round' lasts seven minutes and begins the same as all the others, but 2 minutes in and it's transformed into a wall of distorted one chord guitar noise and a quiet high-hat before finally fading out into something you might expect of a noise-rock band who just can't be bothered to try anymore.
Perhaps the album's saving grace is that it's remarkably short; only 3 songs break the two minute barrier and the whole affair is over with in just 23 minutes; wander off to make a cup of tea and you've missed most of it. However, it is this brevity that makes the whole thing listenable without getting too bored half-way through and putting something on that has more originality. There's a lot of energy here which really helps it along and it is quite enjoyable the first time through but there's virtually no replay value left after you've played it twice in a row.
If you're looking for something to just jump about to for 20mins to get you in the mood to go out, then it might not be a bad choice. The first 3 or 4 tracks aren't terrible on their own but the whole effect is disappointingly mundane and trite. If you're looking for a classic, lively, punky and energetic rock album that you can listen to for hours on end, this is not it because chances are you've already got it, but spread across 3 or 4 other CDs in your collection.