Baboon

Record review

Texas Platters

Baboon

More than a decade in the making, Baboon's self-titled epic rejuvenates the Denton band's identity in the most sensible fashion. Having earned their stripes as a raucous noise band, early versions of the group intensified their grungy guitar cacophony with a blaring trombone. As Baboon has aged, it has become a more melodic animal. This new album, their first since 2002's Something Good Is Going to Happen, makes one consider the transformation Nirvana made between Bleach and Nevermind. It also conjures shades of the Clash, Cure, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Weezer, the Strokes, and Killers as the band ricochets its updated rendition of influence. Singer Andrew Huffstetler puts forth a tender charisma that carries songs such as "Breaking Glass" and "Arms Around the World" to places that are still hairy and manly but far from macho. When Baboon sheds its newfound gloves by way of "Into the Sea" and "Accidents Are Waiting to Happen," their punk breeding provides them the moral high ground to craft legitimate anthems charged enough to catch trendy fire. It's difficult to single out even one dud in these dozen chest-beaters. Self-produced and self-released, Baboon ultimately concludes that "maybe I should take the last step before the sky comes falling down."

****

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