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Baby Astrolab - Edible Dolls EP

Review in West Briton 25th May 2005
09:00 - 26 May 2005

Baby Astrolab may have been around in one guise or another for several years but with the release of their new EP, Edible Dolls, they've taken on a new lease of life. This is a superb leap forward for the Cornish band with at least two tracks being the equal of everyone from Million Dead to Green Day.

It's easy to lump Astrolab in with the current crop of punk/metal types but it's clear from their influences (Ween, Saxon, Kool Moe Dee, Burning Spear, My Bloody Valentine, Tom Waits) that the four-piece refuse to be pigeonholed.

The seeds of the current line-up of Laura Shepherd (who seems to have been in every Cornish band already and she's only about 12), Ben Harris, Jon Winter and Andy Cunningham came after friction with their former singer during a tour of the Isles of Scilly last year.

They dropped three-quarters of their old material, produced a load of new songs at a phenomenal rate and entered Milking Parlour Studios in St Austell in February.

The resulting five-track EP is stupendous, confusing expectations from the outset with three minutes of pastoral ambience, which leads into the metal-Ramones thrash of I Want It All.

The first real sign of a rebirth comes with Cyanide, a dejected, slow-buring alt-rocker that recalls the best in late '80s American indie, from Dinosaur Jr to Fugazi. It sounds like The Smiths gone Sub Pop.

Creator of Two Evils is soulful hard rock which a year ago would have been given the awful label "emo". Fans of Husker Du and Reuben should investigate.

You're Blind is saved from average thrashness by a good, paranoid vocal but the real winner is the closing Broken Radio, another pensive, intelligent post-hardcore blast.

This is an apocalyptic love song for the dispossessed (you can use that on a flyer, if you like Astrolabbers).

On the strength of this track and Cyanide, Baby Astrolab have a very promising future.

Guitarist Ben told Upfront: "We want to produce something that we would want to listen to alongside our favourite artists." They should be proud that they've done just that.

Big things are already happening - they are to play a showcase for Fiction Records, home of Snow Patrol, Ian Brown, yourcodenameis:milo and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Upcoming gigs:

24th June...Baby Astrolab with support from Bhodazaffa at The Unicorn, Porthtowan

25th June...Baby Astrolab with support from Idlepuss at The Swan, Truro

10th August...Baby Astrolab with support at The Waterfront, Falmouth

19th August...Baby Astrolab with support at The Unicorn, Porthtowan

10th September...Baby Astrolab with support from Kelly Don't Drive at O'Callahans, St Austell

Added:  Saturday, May 28, 2005
Reviewer:  Minx
hits: 2700
Language: eng


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