Baby Eagle & The Proud Mothers – [Album]

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It has never been analyzed too deeply before, but the fact is that all of the great collaborative rock bands and albums start out as loose, fun affairs which only become serious later – after the players who came together to contribute to the project discovered they might just be onto something. For perfect examples of such artistic development-on-the-fly, one could look at the albums that The Travelling Wilburys made or (more recently) the album that Fred Squire, Julie Doiron and Dan Romano recorded together; in both of those cases (and this one too) the artistic partnerships were pretty loose (read: everyone involved had something else to do after the recording sessions wrapped) and lighthearted, and each took on a sort of timeless quality because, as they had fun, they also began taking chances and pushing boundaries. It's possible to hear both the same spirit and the same promise in Bone Soldiers by Baby Eagle & The Proud Mothers too; the musical collaboration between Steve Lambke (a.k.a. Baby Eagle, and a founding member of The Constantines), Will Kidman (a.k.a. Woolly Leaves, and the former keyboardist for The Constantines), Nick Ferrio (on leave from his Feelings) and both Spencer Burton and Ian Kehoe from Attack In Black.

From the moment Baby Eagle & The Proud Mothers turn the engine over on Bone Soldiers with the album's title track, the loose and fun air of the project (which was recorded live off the floor over the span of two days at 6 Nassau in Toronto) begins to seep out through the decidedly “Crazy Horse” tone of the guitars and the boozy-woozy vocals which ride on top of them. The sound of those guitars is just wildly over the top – just like when Neil Young and Pancho Sampedro plug in and turn up together – but will have listeners of the right mind glued to stereo speakers because the off-the-cuff power of the project is just so spellbinding and fun. That same sort of spell proves to be the fantastic tie that binds songs like “Marching Orders,” “Old Punks,” “Good Times/Bad Times,” “Peace On Earth” and “Hard Truths” together, and they shine as the greatest moments on the record but, given the nature of both the project and the product of it, listeners will be thrilled to hear just how far the band will stretch its sound as tracks like “Brave Women” (which reaches pretty close to country music in the tradition of Roy Orbison), “Rebel Crimes” (which seems to re-write “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King for a post-indie rock community) play through and add a richer flavor to the proceedings.

As “Hurricane Weather” spirals around and exhausts the last of Baby Eagle & The Proud Mothers' energy with a combination of stomping, heavy-handed rock theatrics and a sublime vocal take which contrasts it perfectly, listeners won't be able to stop themselves from feeling a bright, more exhilarated mood overtake them after the Bone Soldiers experience runs out. They'll feel as though they just bore witness to a special, stolen moment where a bunch of friends got together and made something which would have been impossible were even one of them not there, and it could never happen the same way twice.



Bone Soldiers will be released on March 6, 2011 by You've Changed Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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