This review originally appeared at Exclaim.ca
Our current need to document and release our every waking activity hasn’t spared the music industry ― a quick YouTube search reveals dozens of shaky camera phone vids of even the most unproductive and inconsequential groups.
The Babies aren’t an inconsequential band; their membership, which includes Vivian Girls’ Cassie Ramone and Woods’ Kevin Morby, requires at least a passing mention for fans of the du jour lo-fi indie rock. But with only last year’s debut and a few singles under their belts, the band can hardly be called prolific, which makes this collection of demos from 2010 and 2011 a questionable follow-up.
The six tracks are demos in the most classic sense ― poorly recorded acoustic numbers, some of which feel more like sketches than completed songs. Sounding whole, despite being a solo acoustic number by Morby, closing track “That Boy” is the best of the bunch. Both “Trouble” and “My Tears,” where a bird can be heard chirping in the background, were eventually rerecorded for a seven-inch, while “Hey Mama” found new life as “Sick Kid” on the band’s debut.
Interesting as a piece of musical archaeology, Cry Along With the Babies will make a nice addition to an expansive reissue package in a decade or so. As a standalone EP, it’s unnecessary.