There Be Squabbles Ahead (The End)
by Hansel Merchor
Describing Stolen Babies as “prog-pop-cabaret-thrash-quirky-Goth-rock” provides this band with enough space to add mambo and cha-cha-cha and still have plenty of legroom to play around. Stolen Babies crafts a mélange of quirky genres superimposed in a copy and paste mode at worst, and a delicious blend of music that flawlessly transitions between different styles at best. As players of such eclectic fields, they’ll be restricted to the Mr. Bungle comparison, at least until they come of age.
Starting with the bad: Key track “So Close” reveals a band that could easily fit at toddler-Goth night at Chuck E. Cheese’s. The hard rockish guitars remind of Chemlab, the semi-organic drums smell of foul moods, short imagination, and are totally organic. But when the band shoots for playfulness, it comes out triumphant. These babies got the prog down, but mostly because the members’ technical prowess are well-exposed, and all that programming, organ, piano, and sitar not only helps color the blank spaces, but the mere presence of such warrants their inclusion in the prog pantheon. The pop comes in the melodies, which is exactly where the band shines. If not, just check the straight-ahead rocker “Lifeless,” which could fit anywhere it pleases; FM or AM, past or present, rock or pop, white or black, good or bad.