Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Amazing Baby were awake bright and early on this Saturday morning of the South By Southwest festival and parked at Big Orange exactly on time, before the day's heat had had a chance to blister thousands of people with a scorching new red glow. It was still nice outside and the streets were pleasantly empty, the coffeehouses in town still not bombarded by all of the out-of-town visitors there to see Metallica and Kanye West. Being ready for rock and roll at this hour - for a band like the hard-charging, psychedelic outfit that Amazing Baby is could not have been a small task. It had to have come with some compromises the night before, some uncomfortable willpower and restraint. The Brooklyn band sat packed in their cargo van half-dazed as we were locked out of the studio for a good half hour prior to rescue, a spare key. During that time, the boys tried to stir themselves a bit more, walking down the block and just conversing amongst themselves as they rang the cobwebs from their heads. But once they plugged in, there was no way of telling if it were 10 a.m. or midnight. There was suddenly a meteor shower spitting out at our ears and there were suddenly all kinds of hallucinogenic triggers popping and bursting within the air, creating a symphonic arrangement that could have had benefactors from Martians, from hippies, from dirty gutters and streets, from acid and from wild animals of all makes and models. This is music that gravitates toward getting completely spacey, but stays grounded enough that the band would be thought of enough to open three weeks of dates this month as the sole support act for the band of the moment, long time coming, Phoenix. It's full of boisterous volume and freewheeling riffs galore, along with a desire to sneak up on you and drink all of your beer when you're not looking. These songs are sneaky contagious, sly and huge, rolling you down the stairs and giving you a good shaking up. They smoke unfiltered cigarettes and then expel the waste right into your face with a smirk before breaking a pool cue over someone else's backbone. Lead singer Will Roan sings, "We are starving cannibals," and it's that kind of hungry agitation that the band takes with every second of its music, jostling and juking and moving those distorted veins, those hissing mouths and instruments. There's a bushy and ballsy feeling to every song on the group's debut album "Rewild," one that involves doubled up guitar lines melting the night and lyrics that suggest that these five young men are spending their time thinking mostly about after hours parties and a nightlife that will bring all kinds of women and other characters into their proximity. Roan has a voice that shares that dwelling and sleepy tone of Spoon's Britt Daniel and also touches occasionally on a bigger arena sounding voice like that of Neil Diamond and he uses it to sing about the kids being alright - but there's really no indication what his definition of alright might be. Alright's in the eyes of the beholder. It probably just means that the kids are ready to stay up all night long, drink cheap stuff and pay the necessary pipers, face the deserved consequences the next morning and then just do it all over again. It sounds like something that Amazing Baby can get behind.
Amazing Baby Official Site