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Babyhead - Heavy Weather

Babyhead - Heavy Weather

Babyhead - Heavy Weather

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Strong third album from Bristol reggae and ska collective.

Sampler

Babyhead are a Bristol (UK) based band who have been doing the rounds for some time now on the club and festival circuit and they are about to release their third album on Pama International’s own Rockers Revolt label. The band provide a varied array of reggae, ska and hip hop inspired sounds from bright, roots rocking opener ‘Hot Day’, to the closer ‘Swan Song’ which swirls between dark and almost apocalyptic and an easy paced skank, indeed if there is one thing Babyhead can never be accused of its sounding samey. Luminaries such as Toots Hibbert have described the band as "Irie…despite their beards and suits".

They possess a very robust brass section that gives them a bit of a big band sound and swing which comes to the fore on tracks like predominantly instrumental ska cut ‘The Rhythm’ and former single release ’Jungle Law’, which is a full on horn blaring, big band, ska infused romper, with semi rapped lyrics inspired by the famous Rudyard Kipling poem, The Law Of The Jungle, although the jungle to which Babyhead are referring is not that of some dark hot rain forest but that of the dark cold streets.

The catchy as hell 'Think Money', which was also previously released as a single is also included; with its easy, happy go lucky one-drop styled vibe disguising the fact this is a song about hard times and using prostitution to help make ends meet. Some may feel that the lyrics are a bit flippant on this subject, but for me it’s not judgmental and just tells it as it is, and this is what I like about Babyhead’s style. At first listen some of their songs seem simple and almost throw away, but when you dig under the surface just like the music the lyrical content is varied and with a purpose. You’ll find no sugar sweet love songs here but instead everyday stories and messages, whether it be just flicking the finger at the established music industry on the electronic, hip hop beat pounding ‘Still Babyhead’, a jolly banjo plucking, mystical tale of a sage like person ‘The Duke’ who imparts his worldly wisdom, or relating what sounds like first hand experience, as with the sombre ‘Song for Bradley’, an account of a musicians friends search for fulfilment of boyhood dreams in America that ends in disaster.

This is a strong, well produced album that will keep you hooked from the start with its catchiness and variety and I found it to be one of the most engaging albums I’ve heard in a while.

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