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Album Review: Sleepy Kids by Haybaby

Brooklyn NY’s Haybaby release their debut album Sleepy Kids on 30th October via Tiny Engines. You could easily pigeon hole the band somewhere between the art punk of Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth, the classic indie rock of The Pixies and The Breeders and the attitude of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The slow and fuzzed up guitars and female vocal give it merit.

Described by the band themselves as “sludgy pop & slop rock”, there’s an innocent charm to Haybaby’s sound. While there are some standout moments like the bass groove and Cure style guitar on ‘Sharks’ you get the feeling that Sleepy Kids has come in just wide of the mark. Don’t get me wrong it is a good album, it’s enjoyable and fun, but that’s the height of it. It doesn’t have much emotional swing and while it hints at the bands potential it rarely delivers.

‘Pizza Party’ is the perfect example, it has a lovely bass groove and some fantastic crashing guitars towards the end, yet you feel the track is at least a minute too long. The bass groove is stretched and outstays its welcome becoming tiresome. It could do with some refinement and a ‘less is more’ attitude. It’s a trend that reoccurs throughout Sleepy Kids; ‘Her’ hints at being a great song before being swallowed up by dullness, while opener ‘Old Friends’ touches at a storming opener before petering out.

Conversely you have the standout tracks like ‘Shy’ with its ferocious vocal and sweeping guitars and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs style ‘Elevator Song’. Both tracks get the blood racing and show you that Haybaby are a band that has the talent to write a great pop-rock song. The crescendos and crashing guitars in ‘Edelweiss’ give you a brief exposure to an exhilarating sound yet its cloaked in between plodding bass grooves that don’t go anywhere and the majority of the track fails to grab your attention. It’s another song that needs the fat trimmed.

Sleepy Kids ends up being a frustrating listen. The potential is obvious, but Haybaby seem content to create a sound that rarely achieves what it sets out to do. The art-grunge sound is perhaps a little too free, somebody needs to rein it in and focus the band.

AD Rating 6/10


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