Album Reviews

Aluminum Babe – Vit-ri-fied

(Velocity) UK release date: 4 April 2005

They have already garnered a subterranean fan base in their adopted hometown of New York and have toured the UK in 2003 and early-2005. Now Aluminum Babe have unleashed their debut album Vit-ri-fied to a largely unsuspecting public.

Aluminum Babe released their self-titled debut EP in May 2003 after a successful time gigging around punky frontwoman Anna’s native Sweden and current residence of NYC. Now the band is ready to tour for their initial album release, having already announced London dates for April 2005.

With Jorge Musa and Darren Fried on bass and drums respectively, the trio, led by the distinctively high vocal tones and guitars of Anna, have carved out a comfortable niche for themselves with their curious Blondie-esque style of music.

Vit-ri-fied is a curious mix of slow disco-hooks and pop-texture. While they are purported to be something of a punk band, much of the album lacks punkish energy and grit. Most of the time it moves at an almost nauseatingly slow speed. With 10 tracks and a running time of thirty-three minutes you’d expect the album to fly like lightning but much of it plods along at a snail’s pace.

Much of the album has an eighties pop feel and displays little influence derived from the controversial puck rock bands that has previously inspired Anna such as Alice Cooper and The Sex Pistols. Aluminum Babe definitely doesn’t sound like most contemporary bands with their idiosyncratic musical mannerisms, yet they have a likeable charm partly due to the abundance of confidence that is so apparent from the start.

I Don’t Wanna Be Loved sets up the tone with its disco-meets-pop attitude and a steady rhythm – there is definitely a successful club remix inside. Upside Down is an odd tune sung in French with an English chorus but things pick up with the catchy Little Girl. What Is What has style and Dream Dancing is a tasty slice of slow moving beats. Anna shows her wonderfully tender voice on Baby Bitch while Standing And Waving Goodbye is an eccentric tune with wonderfully harmonious vocals and plodding bass that emits a warm ambience. Everything 2 Me is a soft disco number that’s as annoying as toothache and Disease Contagious is catchy despite Anna’s strangely misplaced vocals – she sings somewhere between out of tune and not quite singing, more like talking fast. Finally, Ca Plane Pour Moi is an entertaining kick and scream affair.

Vit-ri-fied is an odd and frustrating yet curiously agreeable debut with so many equally familiar and unrecognisable sounds thrown into a melting pot that it gives off distinctive fumes. With the release of this debut album and more gigs in the UK, the New York-based band are sure to acquire high acclaim and growing interest over here. It’s definitely worth a listen.

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