When a band lists some of their musical influences as “10 Mayfair and a bottle of cider” and “homemade soup that knocks you out” you know an eclectic offering of music is on the cards and that is exactly what Girobabies have given us with their new album, Who Took Utopia?.
The ten-track release is a stellar combination of dark grunge melodies and funky reggae beats with a sprinkling of catchy lyrics to satisfy the listener, whatever the mood.
‘Equinox’ is a powerful first track with a scratchy, almost dangerous and dark, opening before lifting into a smooth, funky upbeat track setting the tone for the first half of the album.
Girobabies sing that they’re “here for a good time, not for a long time” on ‘Mirrorshow’, a good continuation in the chilled section of Who Took Utopia? and through the catchy songs on offer it is clear the listener will also be here for a good time.
Tuning into ‘Bring Potions’ and ‘No Place Like No Place’ the easy funky beats have changed into more melodramatic, psychedelic melodies altering the pace and tone of the album.
Grunge beats and the image of dancing at the end of a flat party with just you and a stranger drinking the last bottle of Frosty Jacks sums up the darker side of Who Took Utopia? bringing a level of diversity to the first album from the Glasgow based band.
‘Ramp Up The Theatre’ is the go-to track on the album with an introduction similar to classic The Stone Roses singles before clattering into a punk rock extravaganza with scratchy guitar chords and powerful drumming for the final 40 seconds.
Singer Mark McG’s raspy voice filled with passion and power brings a certain rough around the edges touch to each track, especially on the final offering ‘Escape! Routine!’, completing the album with a roar of pent up aggression; a common theme in Who Took Utopia? thanks to the thought provoking lyrics on offer.
Self described as a band who play “baffling grunge soul music with a dollop of psychedelic dystopian elbow grease and a pinch of gutterrock utopian poetry,” Girobabies certainly have their own personality that they elegantly portray in their music and in their first full length offering.
Words: Lorne Gillies