Albums, Music, The Revue — March 22, 2017 at 5:35 am

MY BABY – ‘Prehistoric Rhythm’ (album review)

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Two years ago, MY BABY were one of the Netherlands’ best stories. Their outstanding, sophomore album, Shamanaid, turned the trio from internet darlings to Dutch stars, as fans gravitated to their trippy, sweat-inducing, voodoo psychedelia. A sold out Paradiso in Amsterdam cemented MY BABY’s status as one the country’s must-see bands. Their success, however, extended across Northern Europe and as far as New Zealand, to where they now take an annual pilgrimage.

MY BABY’s success can be attributed to two main things. First, Shamanaid was fresh and inviting, belonging more in New Orleans and the southern United States than the cool climates of Scandinavia. Second, their live shows are 90 to 150 minutes of non-stop dancing and pure exhilaration. Their shows were more than just events; they were experiences, where every note took over your body. Now with Prehistoric Rhythm, their third full-length album, MY BABY build upon this formula while at the same time extending themselves a little further musically.

The opening number Electrified, the album’s centerpiece “Make A Hundred”, and “Sunflower Sutra” are straight out of Shamanaid. The songs are trippy and delirious, enrapturing one’s mind and taking over. As such, the listener becomes lost in the groovy kaleidoscope of sound, as if one is drifting in a hazy but tantalizing dream. The three songs evidence the captivating power of MY BABY, as Cato van Dyck’s vocals dance effortlessly over top the twangy guitar riffs of Daniel Johnston and Joost van Dyck’s pulsating percussion and beats.

“Sunroof Diesel Bluesand “Straight no Chaser”, meanwhile, are upbeat, blues-infused tracks. They are songs in which MY BABY are paying tribute to their idols, such as Muddy Waters and Taj Mahal, not only in the sound but also the storylines. The latter song, for instance, is right out of Louisiana with the familiar swamp-blues guitar licks and the Cato’s playful vocals and lyrics.

The majority of the album, though, is filled with songs that push the boundaries of voodoo psychedelia and even neo-psychedelia as a whole. Electronic beats are filtered throughout “Love Dance” and “Ancient Tribe” to create a percussion-driven, tribal vibe within a club atmosphere. The combination shouldn’t work, yet MY BABY deftly ensure that the digital elements accentuate the songs’ psychedelic foundations. “Luminate”, meanwhile, blends R&B influences to create a sultry and sensual number that would fit perfectly within F.K.A Twigs’ Pendulum.

The one song that showcases the band experimenting beyond their comfort zone is “Cosmic Radio”. The song is the definition of a mosaic. Electronic and R&B influences echo throughout and Johnston’s crystalline guitar riffs ensure the psychedelia remains a core part. However, the inclusion of the violin, which has not been used previously by MY BABY, adds another dynamic to this multi-faceted song – that of a gypsy funk tune. The song is a little bizarre and unorthodox, yet it works. Could this be the new wave of disco/electronic/club music? Given MY BABY’s penchant for surprising us, we wouldn’t put it past them. For that matter, Prehistoric Rhythm is an album full of surprises, which only showcases just how far ahead MY BABY is from the rest of the pack.

Prehistoric Rhythm is available now via German indie label Glitterhouse Records and on the trio’s Bandcamp page.

MY BABY are Cato van Dyck (vocals/bass/guitar/banjo/violin), Joost van Dyck (drums), and Daniel Johnston (guitar). Follow the trio at:
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