I’ve been a fan of Babaganouj since the beginning. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play multiple times and I’ve been hanging out for this EP for quite a while. How would I describe the sound that Babaganouj makes? Hmmm, I’d say it is rooted in the pop tradition that a band like Husker Du indulge in and is full of the fuzzy rock n roll warmth that both Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh deal with. Don’t be fooled though, this band isn’t an exercise in throwbacks and “hey remember way back when,” not at all. This is still a modern sounding band that salutes the original purveyors of great pop music and freaked out punk noise.
The band’s debut ep “Sife Lucks” is pure joy and everything I was hoping for. The album starts with “Somebody Turn Me On” which is a beautiful yet sullen movement of chords that help introduce the EP’s future slacker anthems. The wonderful boy / girl exchange in the chorus updates that wonderful Black / Deal dynamic and the song is the perfect length. Second track “Love Loathe Love You” is a lovely sway of Husker Du chords and Dinosaur JR. Rock explosion, it is the kind of song Lou would have been allowed to sing. All of the best pop music comes from that slacker template and this song is a fine example of how to be memorable and lo-fi slacker in one foul swoop. Moving into the third track “My Favourite Colour Is You” we arrive at the most modern sounding song on the EP. It instantly reminded me of the Smiths with that beautiful English pop hook without the misery and Morrissey lyrical wank. I don’t dance but if I did I’d do it to this song. Fourth track “Pilot Light” is well, a ballad I guess but in that anti-wank kind of tradition. I’ m a sucker for well executed “soft to loud” indie guitar rock dynamics. This sounds like Brisbane in a way that Brisbane hasn’t sounded since 1993. I love Harriette’s vocals in this song, she provides the swoon and it is pure divinity. On the fifth track “Cool Drinkin’” we see a nice a to b pop punk tune unfold until that wonderful Lou Barlow explosion in the chorus. I hear those 1988 punk rock chord strums and I’m just elevated to pure excitement. It resonates perfectly with everything I loved about the original lo-fi elite. Final track “It’s Rainin’ It’s Summer” beings with a Mascis style guitar solo and it is fucking perfect. The fuzzy Husker Du sweetness / harshness of this track leaves a smile on my face. The backing vocals of Harriette once again make this song powerhouse pop. The perfect ending to a wonderful collection of punk influenced indie pop songs.
Babaganouj have arrived and my patience has been rewarded. This band is a beautiful nod to the past with a foot largely planted in the future development of sophisticated guitar music. I can’t wait for this band to release a full length because the enjoyment I’ve felt from this EP would be elevated tenfold if we got a full record. Check this sweet slice of music out as soon as you can.
9 Cassette Tapes out of 10
By: Dan Newton