Reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Tape Seven. The God Tape. At least, in Frank Blank numerology.
With the depths of a John Tory winter striking into Toronto, winds reaching out to slap us in the jowls, it’s hard to remember back to the spring this new Babysitter tape was created in. Thankfully, the boys in the band are ready to utter growls of sunshine and fresh shredding rain. The ten tracks on Tape 7 are ten ghostly flowers, filled with pumping drums and chainsaw guitars — the petals of garage pop.
But Jack, you ask from behind the deli store counter, isn’t this just like the six great tapes that came before? How much Babysitter can really be smeared over the cassette toast?
You’re thinking too much. Things are different. The sound collaging on Tape 7 is saucy, and Mr. Kristian North has found some new toys to play with in order to satisfy your mind’s lust for novelty. The tone of the tape is subdued and twisted. The sound manipulation found all over the tape is a cheeky twist witnessed on the band’s more off-hand, carefree releases, as well as on the recent teamups with JLK.
What is the world concocted by North? His lyrics read like a dime store dystopian soap opera fan magazine: coffee shop confessionals, bdsm cuteness, and now dilapidated cheerleaders. The stories told by Babysitter are the undercurrent of the day: every day is more fucked up than the papers would allow you to believe.
My blinking Nintendo heart cries out for the CCRamones punk bleat of “I Swim In Shit.” The loins of my LP collection want to hug the mellow groove of “Look Both Ways” into their grooves. The songs utter grotesques and refuse to turn down the volume of their eccentricity.
There’s no room for soft tones or a downbeat on this new tape. Guitar, vocals, bass, and drums sounds simple. Babysitter proves with Tape 7 that nothing could be weirder, nothing could be more wonderful.
Top Track: “I Swim In Shit”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent)