The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, November 8, 2013, Music

Baby Robots

The Dream Beaver (Catland)

A veteran local band that jammed "psych rock" before it was back in vogue, Baby Robots' outsider, post-punk take on the genre resembles the third-eye-dilation of ST 37 more than the spiritual Xanax of the Black Angels. On the Dream Beaver EP, the bots emerge mightily with opener "Broken Pal World (Share Ships)," riding an irresistibly jumpy rhythm and hefty Farfisa finger poking, over which mastermind Bobby Baker routes a socially disconnected sneer ("I really don't care about it anyway, because nobody shares their shit anyway") into a bubble gum melody with tremendous success. Beaver then abruptly downshifts into the bass-heavy "Moves Like a Snail" and the lushly arranged "Tall Green Prawns," both of which have musical upsides, but suffer from Baker's nuts and bolts vocal skills. That's a defect sidestepped in effect-pouring instrumental "Hallowed Weiner," and "Cold Burn," which gains badly needed chemistry through a tight, quick groove and exceptional guitar dynamics assisted by My Education's Brian Purington. A second twisted pop tune, "Portions," bookends the EP, a near miss compared to the bulls-eye opener. That's how the rodent rests, on-again-off-again, sometimes inspiring, sometimes drooling.


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