Big Boy Baller Club by Baby Baby
2014 CD
"What with Mike D busy getting photographed by the New York Times in his well-appointed Brooklyn town house, someone had to pick up the "Fight For Your Right (to Party)" mantle, or watch the whole enterprise given over to self-seriousness and poise. Enter Atlanta quintet Baby Baby, the perfect men for the job. Channeling the Beastie Boy's silly irreverence and party-rockin' spirit, Baby Baby blend pop/punk songwriting with a hip-hop swagger and an emphasis on the live experience, which is something akin to the party scene in a teen movie, only everyone there can drink, and the party's actually fun.

Baby Baby convened in the summer of 2009, when singer/guitarist Fontez Brooks and drummer Grant Wallace shook off the sleepiness of the suburbs and set out to bring a new element to the Atlanta scene. Packed with unfriendly, broody artists, hostile hardcore kids and the strip-club rap scene on the creepy fringes, The A simply needed some fun rock. And that's what Baby Baby - which has since expanded to include percussionist Colin Boddy, bassist Kyle Dobbs and Ryan Burruss on keys - delivers on their sophomore album, Big Boy Baller Club, the follow-up to 2011's Money, out April 1 on the Gospel of Rhythm Recordings.

Baby Baby is a big, inclusive tent. There's room under it for friends, foes, Nickleback fans, even haters; we all need someone to keep us in check, don't we? All they ask is that you come ready to dance and make some new friends on the floor. They'll take care of the rest."

"Bad Brains and Kings Of Leon had a baby that was styled by In Living Colour and was raised by Lamar of Revenge Of The Nerds" - Clark Westfield (The Gay Blades)

"Catchy, fun, and totally chaotic ...canned optimism of the Andrew WK variety." - Afropunk.com

"Whether it's Fontez gargling his vocals like an inebriated Louis Armstrong then switching gears, and delving into a soulful, yet eccentric, singing style that brings to mind fellow Georgian Andre 3000, or Grant hammering the skins like he is stirring up a war dance while Kyle's fleet fingers work his six-string bass with precision... it is obvious that these boys are having a blast. - Performer

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"Upon first hearing Baby Baby's new album Big Boy Baller Club, your first thought will most likely be "What just hit my ears!" Well, that was my first thought, at least. Far from being a generic rock band, Baby Baby blends a host of seemingly incompatible genres seamlessly, creating a strange and delightful fusion which defies any conventional label. Think of 90s punk rock and hip hop, with a dose of disco and insanely fun, dance, beats thrown in the mix, and you get Baby Baby. But even that description is probably not sufficient in preparing you for their album, which is guaranteed to take you on a crazy ride. So hold onto your seat, press play, and get ready to rock." - Made Of Chalk

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"There are (more or less) three strands of punk rockers: the irreverent pranksters of the Ramones, the serious revolutionaries of Crass, and the visionary poet, like Patti Smith. Pretty much every band to come through the scene since has combined those three influences in various proportions. No-one is ever going to accuse Baby Baby of being influenced by Crass or Patti Smith. And that's not a problem at all. Hell, they call their music "fun rock." This is music not just designed to be the soundtrack to a party, but to incite one. Their new album Big Boy Baller Club isn't likely to change the world, but damn it if it won't change your mood.

The album kicks off with a spoken intro explaining the rules of the Big Boy Baller Club over a synth line straight from some educational Flash game. You are now officially one of Fontez, Kyle, Grant, Colin, and Ryan's Best Franz. The new record is full of all the things that made Baby Baby's last album Money so glorious: giant goofy hooks, pounding guitars, and periodic bursts of pure unfiltered weird. This is a band that takes not taking itself seriously very seriously. "Turnip" explodes over a cowbell beat into a party rock anthem. "We got rock em sock em robots for lil' lambrogini / If you do not feel then no not worry bout the meaning / Yeah we like to have some fun, but that does not void out the feeling" is a pretty clear mission statement.

Album highlights like "Can't Spell Conch Without the 'CH'" "Best Franz" and "Keep On Dancing" shows a band with boundless creativity and inventiveness despite the fact that nearly every song's goal is to get you moving. They may mostly only hit one note, but it's a damn good note, and they find a surprising amount of depth in it. A lot of that comes down to the tightness of the band, and the classic showmanship of frontman Fontez. The man pours every bit of himself into the microphone in service of keeping everyone dancing. It's as if keeping the party going is the most important thing in the world to him and his merry band of pranksters. That enthusiasm is contagious.

The record closes on an unexpectedly deep note. The one-two punch of "Heavy Hearts Club" and the surprisingly poignant "Outro" shows the loneliness and frustration the day after the party. Bank accounts empty, and the love found last night just walked out the door. The "Outro" drives it home further over the same synth bleeps from the "Intro." But it wouldn't be Baby Baby without some sort of wry smile to undercut it all. After quoting the lyrics to "Heavy Hearts Club" the last word is a self-mockingly self-congratulatory "poetic." Sure. Why not? What's not poetic about the best damn house party ever?" - Afro-punk