It took me about five seconds to fall in love with Babysitter’s new self-titled album. The shocking combination of guitar distortion and blood-curdling scream captured my attention immediately, forced my jaw to drop, and my eyes to light up. This display of pure, raw emotion sinks into a nostalgic song about “Exploding Youth” with just the right hint of angst and a quick-hitting punk album with a surprising amount of heart.
What excites me about this album is the dream of seeing it live. The band really goes all out and the vocals evoke the imagery of a group of misfit 20 year olds moshing away their Friday evening. Babysitterdoes not seek the musical virtuosity attractive to most musicians, instead their willpower and sheer gusto provide the listener with a beautiful, raw powerhouse of sound indicative of a wild live set. Another loveable aspect of Babysitter’s sound is their blunt sarcasm. The band doesn’t approach music with the intention of creating the most important piece ever made. They focus on where the music is in the moment. The only thing they really take seriously is their intensity and that’s all they need.
Babysitter is diverse. In a way they are the ultimate punk band. They get political, they get angry, but they never stay in the same place for too long. Their sarcastic depiction of the conservative view of youth, those in need of welfare, and other hippies in the city falls into an ironically harsh sounding song entitled “Neighbors Play the Worst Music.” The rest of the album fluctuates through a vast collection of anger and angsty turmoil including slow songs about sweets, fast songs about not getting a job, and light commentary about the state of modern politics resulting in a quintessential example of punky perfection specifically curtailed to the CKUT regulars.
The diversity in lyrical content is matched by the band’s journey through different sound aesthetics. From borderline out of tune saxophone solos to smashing guitar riffs to the actual sound of smashing glass,Babysitter has everything your little punk rock heart desires, which is what really makes this album a special work of art. The Ramones conquered the world for three decades at the same tempo and the collective discography of Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and Black Flag includes almost no songs longer than five minutes, however, in this day and age of almost complete artistic freedom, contrast is an absolute essential and Babysitter has certainly accomplished contrast.
A seemingly entirely angry album with subtle little reminders of the genius songwriting of the band, Babysitter has hit home on many levels. The 35 minute piece is fun from start to finish without ever approaching predictability, and judging by their performance on CKUT from a few years ago, they put on a completely face melting live show. Yet again the local talent of Montreal has provided us with something to smile about.
-Review by Donovan Burtan