Sometimes, especially in New York, regular show-goers can feel that certain bands are being ‘pushed’ on them, because they play so many times, often opening for big acts. It can be that bookers are trying to catch an up-and-coming band, but other times, it’s that labels/public relations companies are trying to make a band up-and-coming. New Hampshire’s Wild Light (QRO live review, opening for Doves) has been that way ever since Arcade Fire picked them as their opener, and Brooklyn’s Amazing Baby is another (the pair also have terrible names…), thanks to their friendship with – and similarities to – currently blowing-up MGMT (QRO live review). Amazing Baby’s opened for them, Bloc Party (QRO album review), Cold War Kids (QRO photos, when Baby opened), Phoenix (QRO photos, when Baby opened), and others. But do they have the goods to live up to all of that promotion – or do they just have a very good PR company? Well, they’ve made a solid start with debut full-length Rewild, which traffics in psych-rock and more.
Click here for photos of Amazing Baby, opening for Phoenix, at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA on June 28th, 2009 in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
Rewild is better when Amazing Baby do more than just sixties/seventies-inspired psych-rock, like on the somewhat run-of-the-mill “Invisible Palace” or “Headdress”. Best is when they add a driving rhythm, like on “Kankra” and “Deerripper”, but they also do some higher atmosphere effects on “Dead Light” and “Old Tricks In Hell”, plus anthemistic with “Bayonets” and “Smoke Bros”. The dark acoustic-y “The Narwhal” is a nice change, showcasing a different side of psychedelica, but the following “Roverfrenz” goes too restrained, making it a bit boring.
The guitar-rock finisher “Pump Yr Brakes” is the only place on Rewild where Amazing Baby really goes for the extended classic-rock, but the piece is just more than five minutes in length, and doesn’t feel overdone. The band doesn’t exceed its comparisons (and does have a very good PR company), and opening for the likes of Phoenix (QRO live review) is still a bit of a weird combo, but Rewild justifies Amazing Baby’s growing profile.