Saturday, July 3, 2010

Money For Soul

Money For Soul is the second album by Baby Woodrose. This album is again full of pleasant Psychedelic Sixties Garage Rock tunes. Great songs are: Honeydripper, the single Disconnected, Hippy Chick and the title track Money For Soul. This album is another proof of Lorenzo Woodrose's musical genius! Enjoy!

Superfuzz, good stuff! 30 seconds into Money for Soul, and you’ll be thinking you found yourself a combination of early Mudhoney (vacuum cleaner fuzz) and Monster Magnet (Guf Lorenzen’s soulful vocals are a bit reminiscent of Weindorf’s), but a few minutes later you’ll realize you’re beamed back to the second half of the ‘60’s, to a time when each kid with a garage had a guitar and bashed out simple rock ‘n roll. When I tried to visualize the members of Baby Woodrose, I came up with a bunch of slackers in a haze of pot-smoke, fondling their worn-out copy of Nuggets and cherishing a closet full of obscure 45’s. Whereas many of their Scandinavian brethren (Hellacopters, Hives, Gluecifer, to name a few of the obvious ones) dabble in high-energy rock that first saw the light of day more than 35 years ago, Baby Woodrose goes a few years further back. Although it’s obvious this is a contemporary band, their influences are to be found on the Nuggets-compilation and psychedelic albums (just not the extended jam-kind): The Sonics, pre-Forever Changes Love, The Seeds, The Standells, and so on. In the hands of most other melomaniacs (what I assume they are), Money for Soul could’ve come off as a hopelessly hollow genre exercise, but it’s become much more than that here, as the band tears through four decades of garage rock with a stylish aplomb that’s pretty rare nowadays.
It’s not that the album contains instant garage classics that could match, say, The 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” The Remains’ “Don’t Look Back,” or Love’s “7 and 7 Is,” but there’s hardly anything bland either, as these concise, natural sounding tales about women, sex and drugs (for the most part) are ideally suited when you’re gonna organize that retro-party you’re thinking of. Of course, leader Lorenzen already had the opportunity to exercise with On Trial (where he played drums), and this time as well, one catchy hook is immediately followed by a next one, guitars buzz like in the golden days of 1965-‘68 and deliciously nagging organ melodies wind up now and then. It’s no surprise that “Disconnected” – with its no-nonsense attitude and brevity – was a single, as it embodies everything that’s good about psychedelic garage rock. There’s even better stuff, though: the rudimentary “Pouring Water” has to be the catchiest song to come from Denmark in a long, long while, “Never Coming Back” sounds like one of the greatest tributes to The Seeds AND The Sonics ever recorded, while the exuberant title track, with its pleasantly offensive lyrics (“You know how to suck dick, but don’t know how it feels” – allegedly about a record company executive), matches anything by, say, American neo-garage band The Mooney Suzuki. Like that band, Baby Woodrose also succeeds in incorporating a generous dose of soul (and a salute to Redding, with a lot of “Gotta gotta gotta” in “You Own It”), melody and attitude. Not as hard-rocking as the party tracks, but equally memorable, are the psychedelic pop of “Hippie Chick” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” songs that undoubtedly would get Sky Saxon’s seal of approval. It all goes to show that nostalgia and inventiveness needn’t be opposites, and if it weren’t for the fact this trio has digested 40 years of rock ‘n’ roll-history (with a bit of imagination, there are also hints of glam, punk and Blue Cheer-muddiness to be found), most of these songs would’ve fit nicely on any excellent 60’s music compilation. Even the gloomy ballad “Carrie” (also a single) works pretty well and serves as a nice break halfway the album. In fact, the only minor complaint that I have is that they felt the need to close the album with the much heavier “Volcano,” an excellent rocker in stoner-fashion, but one that somehow doesn’t seem to fit on this album and comes off as a weird afterthought. Anyway, Baby Woodrose’s second album is a winner. They’ve recently won some prize in Denmark, so now it’s up to the rest of Europe (and the world) to head over to Bad Afro Records and read more about them (or order a copy of Money for Soul).


Baby Woodrose - Money For Soul (2003)

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