Album Review: Haybaby – Sleepy Kids

Haybaby - Sleepy KidsStraight outta Brooklyn, Haybaby are a refreshing dose of retro indie with a slap of slop rock. Leslie Hong’s voice alternates between a soothing croon and a blood-curdling scream on this collection of thoughtful tracks punctuated by bursts of feedback fuelled hysteria, among the quirky mechanical guitar lines and bubbly bass sound.

There’s a cool indie vibe to the opening tracks as ‘Old Friends’ starts out all angular, before descending into an aggressive blur come the chorus; as the guitar distorts and feeds back, not dissimilar to classic Sonic Youth. ‘New Friends’ meanwhile is a little cooler as it rolls to a groovy bass and understated guitar.

Things take a slightly experimental turn on ‘Pizza Party’; that nice bassy vibe is still there, but after a patient build-up, the guitar intensity picks up – depicting the awkward sex theme of the song – and is precisely what indie should be about; manic distortion. This is by no means the only high point, as ‘Her’ kicks along to quirky histrionics, while ‘Elevator Song’ is bright, meandering and melodically superb.

However, the stand out track is ‘Edelweiss’, which starts out downbeat with more signature guitar lines and flashes of intensity, it eventually builds as the guitars layer and the pace picks up to a climax, bowing out in a flurry of noise.

Haybaby seem to work best when they push things a little bit harder and take noisy risks. Once or twice they fall into a kind of comfort zone, like on ‘Sharks’, but when they go a little darker, as on `Edelweiss’ and ‘Doored’, they really show their potential; ones to watch.

4/5

‘Sleepy Kids’ by Haybaby is released on 23rd October on Tiny Engines.

HayBaby links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)

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