In winter 2008, Cassie Ramone of the Vivian Girls and Kevin Morby of Woods found themselves sudden roommates, and instead of getting involved in all sorts of Odd Couple-esque antics, began playing together. They were immediately jazzed on the new songs bashed out as well as dialing back some of their respective notoriety with a new project that would allow for flexibility and freedom of movement. The result is The Babies. And the resulting album out on Shrimper is a fucking corker. Shambolic and carefree as promised, but on JUST the right side of country-tinged and anthemic, like a ragged and wide-eyed X. There are also nods to Go-Betweens, Gun Club, K goodness, George-n-Tammy, and classic girl group vocal interplay (almost a given when one of the Vivian Girls is involved). Morby and Ramones’ vocal duets are a cloying delight, neither one what one would call classically trained, but their exuberance and open-heartedness wins the day. I could listen to “Breakin’ The Law” all day long, one of those great “Fuck this, it’s just you and me”-style duets like a more celebratory “Bonnie and Clyde,” truly fucking frazzled and jangled sublimeness built on an earworm guitar riff. “Meet Me In The City” is manic and careening and wonderful, that just kinda explodes into giddy fuzz anticipation. And “Sunsets”… ah, the way they each sing the verses separately and then just nail it together on the chorus, loud as fuck with a well-placed tambourine shake or two. Songs whoosh by in a rush of frenzied ideas and the joy of completely creatively meshing with a new group. Yeah Yeah!
The Babies: www.myspace.com/thebabiesnyc