Seventeen years after their last album, Baby Chaos return with a new barrage of blistering riffs, melodic muscle and thoughts on the human condition. The elaborately-titled Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory will fizz out of your speakers, triggering an avalanche of scuzzed-up guitars and rich harmonies. The band’s third studio album has been recorded by the original line-up: Chris Gordon (vocals, guitar), Grant McFarlane (guitar), Bobby Dunn (bass) and Davy Greenwood (drums) and the huge changes in the music business since their last outing provided a jolt of hope and enthusiasm.
“We do this now, because we can, and we love to, we are completely
Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory retains that instantly recognisable Baby Chaos verve and swagger, while showcasing how the band’s songwriting has matured during the long hiatus. Chris Gordon’s voice explores bold new dimensions and each song has a unique identity. This album has everything, from the opening bludgeon of You Can’t Shut Us Up, to the wistfully anthemic We Were Youth, to Blackbirds’ quirky schizophrenia, to the old-school pop-rock chug of A Tingling On Your Bright Skin, to the beautifully panoramic Out Of The Silence. You’ll have a different favourite song every week, maybe every day. The Chaos began when the band members met at school, in the small town of Stewarton, Ayrshire. Baby Chaos have resided in Glasgow since their early 20s and in 1993 were signed to East West Records by the former Happy Mondays manager Nathan McCough. They then threw themselves headlong into touring and recording for the next four years.
Their 1994 debut album Safe Sex, Designer Drugs and the Death of Rock and Roll established them as energetic upstarts with great songs, before 1996’s bruising Love Your Self Abuse elevated their style to a whole new level. The bands videos often drew attention with a variety of bizarre themes. For “Golden Tooth” they were strung upside down for hours on end; “Hello Victim” had them parading on a catwalk in front of a hoard of effusive O.A.P’s and the video for “Hello” featured a young Kelly Macdonald fresh from her breakout performance
Chris recalls “I was butt naked in a luke warm bath, with the band playing behind me and had a young Kelly Macdonald crawling towards me, and I thought “Is this really what being in a band is all about, it’s just friggin weird.”
Both albums were well received, with the latter gaining a much-coveted five-K-review in top UK weekly magazine Kerrang! Some years later,
Drummer Davy left the fold in 1996 after some health problems. The beginning of The Great Baby Chaos Hiatus was marked by a change of name to Deckard in 1998, as Chris and co signed a new record deal with Reprise in the US. At that time, the band wanted to push in a slightly different direction and start afresh with new drummer Gen Matthews (previously of Jesus Jones) on board.
Since then, there have been many musical twists and turns including Regency Buck and Union of Knives, the latter band seeing Chris pursue a very different direction while his writing skills continued to shine. He also gained attention for his production work, with highlights including a clutch of number ones for Spanish superstar Monica Naranjo. Baby Chaos burst back into life in December 2010, when Ginger Wildheart enticed them into playing a Glasgow reunion gig, with Davy back on the drum stool. While this show was initially anticipated to be a one-off, it went so well that the band felt inspired to work together again. They were clear, however, that the focus had to be on new material – it couldn’t just be a nostalgic jaunt back to the wildness of their youth. For these restless creatives, moving onwards and upwards was the only option.
“There was no desire from any of us to rehash the old material, if we were going to do it had to be new songs and songs of their time. The most gratifying thing is that we all agree this album is far and away the best thing Baby Chaos have done together.”
The recording of Skulls… began at the end of 2013 and continued throughout 2014, as the band found time in their otherwise busy lives to construct an album they felt worthy of the world’s attention. The result is an explosive and emotionally textured album very much of its time.
If you’re a fan of Biffy Clyro, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Foo Fighters or The Killers, then it’s very likely you’ll find much to enjoy in their new album.
www.babychaos.com /officialbabychaos @babychaosband /officialbabychaos Safe Sex, Designer Drugs… Love Your Self Abuse Kerrang! List