Baby Woodrose, Money for Soul (2003)
There are very few bands I listen to that every time I put a record on, I experience zero regrets. You know how it is. Maybe you’re not sure what you really want to be hearing at a given moment, and you grab an album, play it, and are kind of “meh” as you make your way through it. It’s been a long time since I listened to Baby Woodrose and felt anything other than jubilation at how utterly righteous they are. The long-running Danish outfit released their second album, Money for Soul, on 2003 through Bad Afro Records — the same imprint which will reportedly have a new LP out from them later this year — and 13 years later it remains a stunning work of cohesive, comprehensive psychedelic garage rock. Spearheaded by the guitar and vocals of principle songwriter Lorenzo Woodrose, blazing cuts like the title-track, the buzzsaw-toned “Hippie Chick” and fuzz-drenched opener “Honeydripper” dig right into the best aspects of all things raw and tripped-out, and while a good portion of the record is headed straight for the roots of psych rock, its arrangements are by no means lazy, with intermittent flourish of keys and synth to go with the guitar, bass and drums that draw heavy inspiration from 13th Floor Elevators and build on the foundation for what Baby Woodrose would become that was first set with their 2001 debut, Blows Your Mind!, and the earlier demos that eventually surfaced in 2011 on the collection Mindblowing Seeds and Disconnected Flowers (review here).
Fans of Monster Magnet will hear a lot of commonality between the two bands throughout Money for Soul, whether on “Volcano” or “Disconnected,” but Baby Woodrose have always had one foot in a stripped-down songwriting approach, and their songs overall are leaner and less given to extended space rock excursions. Careful layering of acoustic and electric guitar on “You Better Run” reminds of Rubber Soul‘s post-British Invasion experimentation, and while the song is just over two minutes long and there’s barely a second to spare in its upbeat push, Baby Woodrose — then the trio of Lorenzo, bassist Riky Woodrose and drummer Rocco Woodrose — never lack for atmosphere there or on the subsequent stomper “Rollercoaster,” the midsection cut “Carrie” being particularly emblematic in this regard, with a drawback on some of the rhythmic thrust featured elsewhere to highlight the organ, delay guitar and vocal arrangement, all of which conjure a psychedelic spaciousness to match the Turtles-style backing vocals and emotional crux of the lyrics. Rounding out with “Volcano,” Money for Soul holds its ethic to a riotous, raunchy finish that’s about as close as they come to the cosmos, sound-wise, but the lyrics, sampled orgasms, etc., make sure a terrestrial theme is established one way or another.
As noted above, Baby Woodrose will reportedly have a new album out this year on Bad Afro. To be titled Freedom, it will be their first since 2012’s lush Third Eye Surgery (review here), and they’ll also be playing Freak Valley in May. Third Eye Surgery, Money for Soul, 2007’s Chasing Rainbows and 2006’s Love Comes Down will also be reissued throughout 2016 on vinyl by Bad Afro, about which details can be found at Baby Woodrose‘s Thee Facebooks page.
As always, I hope you enjoy.
It just so happens that today is The Patient Mrs.‘ birthday. I’ll spare you the rundown of what she wanted/what she got, but it’s been an interesting year to say the least, so whatever it was that she wanted/got, it’s a pale fraction of the glories and tributes she deserves. We’ll be heading down to Connecticut tomorrow to see her family and have dinner and this and that. It’s also supposed to be the coldest weekend in the last decade in Massachusetts where we live, so there’s that going on. If the car breaks down and we get stranded or if the heater breaks like it did last year and begins spewing steam and flooding the second floor so that the kitchen walls beneath run wet, I’m sure I’ll bitch about it using a variety of social media. Because that’s the recourse we’ve afforded ourselves in this existence.
Gonna stop that paragraph before things take a turn. The bottom line? Happy birthday to The Patient Mrs., for whom my love continues to expand like a Deep Purple jam on Made in Japan. Like a 20-minute version of “Space Truckin’.”
Next week, look out for that Borderland Fuzz Fiesta mixtape. It’s happening on Monday, and there’s some new Yawning Man in there you’re gonna want to hear, among many other gems. Also Monday, a track premiere from Youngblood Supercult, and later in the week, look out for full album streams from Droids Attack and Greenleaf, both of whose records will show up on my Top 30 at the end of the year, without a doubt.
We’re a ways off yet, but I’ve also started planning for the next Quarterly Review. That’ll be at the end of next month, so keep an eye open.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.