Eight Balls in Reverse
Every time I put this record on, I find myself musing about what a huge hit it would have been if it had been released in 1993 or 1994, when such female fronted bands as The Breeders, Belly, and Veruca Salt were burning up the charts with their post-Pixies brand of what was then called alternative rock (before that became a dirty word). That’s not to say that Atlanta’s Ultrababyfat sound dated or derivative on Eight Balls in Reverse, but something about this record definitely evokes those halcyon days — probably fitting, since the band got its start as Babyfat back ’93. Tunes like “Gunshy,” “Diamondback,” and “Underground” will certainly appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands, yet Ultrababyfat’s energy and sense of fun keeps them sounding fresh, vibrant, and new. And I adore the slight twang that makes its way into stompers like “Shake N’ Bake” and “Crash Bang Highway.” Elsewhere, “Star’s Lament” brings to mind a more tuneful and melodic Sonic Youth, the partially en Francais “Bored In Paris” is anything but boring, and “Apple Tree” is delicious fruit straight off the Pixies’ tree, ripe and tasty as that band’s best work. High praise, it may seem, but Ultrababyfat live up to it. If you were into all those mid-’90s bands I mentioned (all of whom are either already gone or might as well be, at this point), you’re sure to love Eight Balls in Reverse, but it’s more than just a nostalgia trip — despite the title, this band is going forward, and I’m glad to be along for the ride.