Share THIRD EYE SURGERY - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
The label says it's space rock. Spaced-out psych pop might be a more appropriate moniker because at no stage does it try to mirror the mind-fried science fiction drone of Hawkwind and a spray of similar bands. No, this is Baby Woodrose creating its own uniquely weird scenes inside the goldmine.

The shimmering "Dandelion", a pretty duet between Lorenzo Woodrose and Dutch diva Emma Acs, and "Nothing Is Real" are the singles but any of five tracks could have fitted the bill. The Doors-ian opium den throb of "It's Just A Ride" or the epic rumble of "Waiting For The War" would have done just as well.

Baby Woodrose isn't making quantum stylistic leaps here. They sound like they always have, which is rooted in the psychedelic '60s with no concessions to modern style or airplay. The band's had a degree of mainstream success ("Money For Soul") but it still exists on its own terms.

You can draw the old comparisons to the Music Machine,early Pink Floyd, the Count Five and so on, but ask yourself how of those bands actually made more than one consistent album? This is Baby Woodrose's sixth and none of them are less than well-realised long-players, studded with songs that would get a run on enlightened radio.

The songs are long (around the six-minute mark) but never over-indulgent to the point of being boring. The trippy ballad "Horalee" ends the album on an anti-climactic note but the change of mood is ultimately welcome, coming after the opus that is the title tune .

There's fuzz and there's keyboard drone. The rhythms are somnolent, almost narcoleptic. There's sitar and Lorenzo's masterful laser beam vocals but when you get down to it, there's a set of great songs with undeniable hooks. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of the assets. The Barman

2/3

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MINDBLOWING SEEDS AND DISCONNECTED FLOWERS - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
LOVE COMES DOWN - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)

Baby Woodrose has been a long-time vehicle for Lorenzo Woodrose, a Danish psych exponent with a penchant for soulful garage songs It's also the name of a psychotropic plant, the seed of which had a lot to do with this record sounding the way it does. Recorded at home, alone, by Lorenzo Woodrose a decade ago after the break-up of a band and a relationship, "Blows Your Mind" was a stunning slice of all of the above. As is "Mindblowing Seeds", a remix of its demos.

This is acid punk at its most stark; it's distorted as hell and the clean-up job hasn't altered the character of the original recordings. Songs like the relentless "D'ya Get What You Give" not so much pulse as roar out of the speakers with no thought of making it onto mainstream radio. Fourteen originals and a fuzzed-out cover of The Illusions' "City of People" make for nearly 40 minutes of top-shelf psych.

There are momentary oases of comparative calm: "Maya" eases off the distortion pedal just a touch while the closing "Run Little Girl" is positively pop compared to what's gone before. "What a Burn" is another place where distorto vocals rub up against trashy guitars to striking effect. Prepare to have your senses jarred.

So make sure you leave your studio production snobbery at the door, if you have any. Under the red-lining VU meters and savage beats are pop gems like "Caught In a Whirl", a song that would sound more polished but no less potent on "Blows Your Mind." They're both lo-fi, raw albums but there's enough track variation and re-ordering to make "Mindblowing Seeds" a completely different experience.

It can be exhausting at times, so ragged are the songs, but "Mindblowing Seeds And Disconnected Flowers" is required listening if you're into this shit. Just don't expect it to sound like Kenny and the Kasuals.

Fast-forward half a decade and wrap your ears around "Love Comes Down." Here's the "lost" Baby Woodrose album, a brash and more rounded effort that's no less compelling. This followed the break-through "Money For Soul" LP, whosel 500 copies went quicker than an anorexic with a McDonalds voucher. It's now re-issued and sounds fantastic.

This is Baby Woodrose playing straight-ahead garage rock turf and finds Lorenzo surrounded by the rhythm section he now plays with in Dragontears. There's a bunch of keyboards and female backing vocals fleshing out the sound and it's a long way from "BLows Your Mind." Woodrose's vocal has never been more soulful and songs like "No Other Girl" and "Growing Younger" are among the most commercial he's recorded, with the latter embellished by striking 12-string guitar. If you want a reference point, think The Stems with slower tempos. All but one tune clocks in at three minutes or less so this is ideal for short attention spans.

It's great garage pop, with the exception of the closing title track "Love Comes Down" which draws a lysergic chalk outline around a body and hangs around at the scene of the crime for five minutes. It has a tremendous trippy feel and it's a song that merits immersion at high volume. The other gems for mine are "Roses", a sharp-edged rocker with spacey keyboard trimmings and a melody line pinched from an early Saints album, and the ringing "Merry Go Round."

Resistance is futile.The Barman

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BABY WOODROSE - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
The romantic notion of "band as a gang" that fueled the "us versus the world" stance of a thousand musical aggregations down the years is all but dead. Technology means , more often than not, that the next acid-drenched, fuzz-inflected or deftly rocking powerpop combo that catches your ear could be the sum outcome of a weekend in a basement for one imaginative guy (or girl) and ProTools.

So it is with Baby Woodrose, who started as a one-man band and are back there with this self-titled long-player. Since 2001 and over seven albums, Copenhagen-based Lorenzo Woodrose has been the only constant. Touring with two bandmates for many years, the founder decided to strip things right back to himself a year ago and this self-titled opus is the outcome. (Its maker probably spent more than a weekend assembling this album but you get the drift.)

Baby Woodrose plays garage-psychedlica that's the equal to or better than anything else in this genre. Alternatively lush or fuzzy, it's ambitious but at the same time accomplished. Baby Woodrose moves from strident rockers ("No Mas", the ultra-heavy "Fortune Teller") to folky but focused pop ("Take It") to jangle psych ("Emily") effortlessly. Even the odd whacked-out diversion like "Scorpio" makes perfect sense as part of a whole.

"Baby Woodrose" is as demanding a listen as you want it. to be You can dive into the lyrical diversions of "Secret Of The Twisted Flower" as easily as you can lay back and be buoyed by its sounds.

Saying that the basis for most of these dozen songs is folk-pop is like observing that Danes have a national fetish for statues of mermaids. Baby Woodrose build layers of sound on a strummed bedrock, weave some backward masking in and turn an amalgam of sound into monuments to predecessors like the pre-junk Stones or The Creation.

Having painted these songs as some sort of homage to turning on and dropping out, "No Mas" turns up on the playlist just to prove Baby Woodrose can rock the shit out of most of the other contenders.

Heard all this derivative '60s stuff? Give it a go, it might surprise. The Barman

1/2

 

 


CHASIN' RAINBOWS - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
Baby Woodrose, with the release of Chasing Rainbows, continue to amaze the listener with well-crafted psych. "Chasing Rainbows" is very much a modern album ieven n that it displays classic 60's songwriting influences such as Love, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Doors and Group 1850. However upon closer inspection, Baby Woodrose is expanding upon the repertoire / format of the genre, through the unique qualities of their sound. The band possesses that "otherworldly" quality of time and space that all great psych groups inhabit.

"Someone to Love" starts the CD with a distorted guitar - organ introduction. A riff is developed and the rhythm section follows suit. The song follows a classic pattern of verse - chorus - verse. "Someone to Love" combined with "I'm Gonna Make You Mine", the second song, both have memorable choruses that leave an imprint on you along with those bouncy organ riffs, fuzzed out riffs and catchy vocals.

For the third song, "Let Yourself Go", the band - Lorenzo Woodrose (guitars, organs and vocals), Fuzz Daddy (drums and percussion) and The Moody Guru (bass and tempura) - get down with a heavier workout. The band really shines on this song: farfisa riffs, wah wah guitar leads and echoed vocals. A similar approach is taken later in the album with the title track "Chasing Rainbows". A real deep bass riff pulls the song together, leaving the guitar to spew distorted riffs and the drums to accent the proceedings. One aspect of both songs is the passionate vocal styling of Lorenzo Woodrose. Vocally, he has a voice that is emotionally charged and soulful.

One of the other great qualities of Chasing Rainbows is the softer moments throughout the album. A memorable presence is felt in several songs. "Lillith" has an unbeatable combination of folk inspired guitar accompanied by haunting pedal steel playing. "In Your Life" is sheer pop bliss. Raga percussion, sitar, bells and acoustic guitar create a backdrop for Lorenzo's sweet vocals. The drums are then introduced two thirds into the song along with distorted guitar.

"No More Darkness" is a tale of heartbreak filled with punk attitude. The background vocals are especially noteworthy. "No More Darkness" then segues into the soaring heights of "Dark Twin". The band's unique songwriting abilities, and ability to break away from convention, become evident on this track. The song "Dark Twin" feels almost like a song from the Middle Ages. Filled with a repetitive bass line, acoustic guitars, bells, organ and a drum march, the song is somber but yet beautiful in it's orchestration.

Baby Woodrose's fourth release is d a memorable CD that will warrant repeated listening over the years to come. "Chasing Rainbows" is an album that is filled with so much in terms of quality and effort placed on the songs ability to transcend the listener.

For me, it's one of 2007's best releases. - Arthur S.


 

 

DROPOUT! – Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
Have to admit being a bit of a Baby Woodrose fan, and while an album full of mostly obscure ‘60s gems might seeml like filler calculated to keep the name in front of the fans, it goes down just fine in this quarter.

Bad Afro might just be the world’s most underrated label. Most of the bands thereon nod reverently in the direction of the ‘60s garage genre, but usually there’s enough independence to kick things clear of parody. Bad Afro music is usually well-produced (i.e. sounds like analogue) and the label honchos have an ear for stuff that not only rocks, but swings.

Baby Woodrose certainly qualify on the above counts. These Swedes walk the line between psych and grotty garage rock, and while they might lack the sheer majesty of a band like The Soundtrack of Our Lives, they’re deserving of far wider attention.

These tunes stem from recordings for “Money For Soul” and demo sessions that followed, and if you think The Sonics have little in common with Captain Beefheart except they played musical instruments and are spoke of in hushed tones, you’re probably correct.

You could take a poll but I’d contend that only three of the 10 cuts on “Dropout!” - Love’s “Can’t Explain”, the Stooges’ “Not Right” and the Saints’ “This Perfect Day” - can be construed as being widely-known. Of course, bona fide ‘60s garage nuts will know the rest, but even the 13th Floor Elevators cover (“I Don’t Ever Wanna Come Down”) doesn’t spring to mind as being immediately obvious. Hell, they could have gone down the “You’re Gonna Miss Me” or “Levitation” routes, if they wanted. OK, “Dropout Boogie” is fairly familiar to Beefheart devotees, but how many are there in today’s listening audiences? (Probably more than I guess, but drop someone else a line if you feel like arguing the point).

“This Perfect Day” was a risk and doesn’t quite come off, its chugga-chugga guitar not matching the relentless sheet metal drive of the original, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. It’s probably dubious that we need another Stooges cover song, but the wailing “Not Right” is a respectable enough take, albeit played straight. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band’s “A Child of a Few Hours” sounds like a Sabbath cover.

If you’re ideologically opposed to covers albums you’ll probably sidestep this completely, but it’s waaaaay better than “Acid Eaters”, which was the undercooked Ramones foray into similar territory. The Barman



3/4

 

MONEY FOR SOUL - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
Fuck, I love the music from the bands on Bad Afro. The little label from the equally little country of Denmark punches well above its weight (or it appears that way on the other side of the world). It's into garage music with lashings of real soul, music that's never overproduced but has the common trait of engine rooms that really SWING and a willingness to augment their sound with whatever works. A roster that includes the likes of the Flaming Sideburns, the Burnouts, Royal Beat Conspiracy and the fab Sweatmaster is guaranteed to kick your arse onto the nearest dance floor. Big labels trying to jump on the garage bandwagon, take note. You don't know shit from clay...

Sermon over, and now I have to confess to knowing very little about Baby Woodrose apart from the fact that they're Danes and have a line-up of two guitars and drums. They have one album ("Blows Your Mind") under the belt and this is their second. I first heard them on a Bad Afro sampler, "Pushing Scandinavian Rock to the Man!" vol. 3, where their hot and heavy "Never Coming Back" was one of the best tracks.

Until their debut album, Baby Woodrose was - literally - a one-man band, made up of multi-instrumentalist Lorentzo Woodrose. He's since been joined by four-string guitar player Riky Woodrose and drummer Rocco (who, coincidentally, also has the surname Woodrose).

Common surnames is where any Ramones comparisons end. This is more down the line of a dozen '60s punk groups, although tipping the soulful end of the scale. Think a less raucous Sonics, a guitar-driven Music Machine or the Wailers. Or a combination of all three.

Some fine songs here. "Pouring Water" is a scorching garage stomp, all Stems-like as on their earliest Citadel singles, sans keyboards. "Carrie" is a tough, but tender, mid-tempo freakbeat ballad, sprouting flowers in its hair. Aside from the tremolo swagger of "Hippie Chick", it's one of the few slower moments. It's raunch 'n' roll that sounds best turned up right loud.

"Money for Soul" is all about the music industry (but you guessed that, didn't you?) "Rollercoaster" is more of the same tough guitar garage-soul, lightened by "oohh-oohh-oohh" choruses, sirens and dropouts. By the time the overdriven, psych crunch of the closer, "Volcano", swings into hearing distance, you should be hooked. If not, check your taste at the door.

Things are getting mighty crowded in the garage these days (remember when there were a handful of us there?) If you're going to be careful with your heard-earned, you should seriously consider shelling some of it Baby Woodrose's way. - The Barman


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