The Bottle Babies ~ Norfolk’s Finest
(EP) (Boilermaker Records)
1- Ain’t No Punk
2- Playing Around
3- Don’t Give a Damn
4- You’ve Been Talkin’
Norfolk, Virginia Punk Rock/Garage band The Bottle Babies have been burning down stages in the area and beyond for about a decade now. You may know a few of the members, Todd Owens– Vocals, Eric Thornton– Guitar, Vocals, Facebook Bully, Billy England– Guitar and Political commentary, Mike Rustad– Bass, Vocals, and James McGuffey– Drums, because you are probably in a band with one of them. These guys are all part of about 5 or 6 other bands in the Norfolk area, so it is safe to say that they have actively contributed to the Norfolk Sound- some might even say that they have put Norfolk on the map! Who cares what people say? The fact is, Norfolk’s Finest, the Bottle Babies new 5 song Ep is a non-stop Rock and Roll onslaught, from the first song Ain’t No Punk, to the last, titled Crybaby-you will be treated to no frills in your face guitar crunch, tight, pummeling drum beats, heavy bass lines that give the songs a solid steel backbone, topped by Todd Owens seasoned vocals.
Call it Punk, garage, whatever, this is a Rock and Roll band. What I especially love about the band are the backing vocals, which range from shout outs to rich harmonies-something you just don’t hear often enough nowadays. Also, pay attention to the excellent cover of the Classic Waldos song Cry Baby; if you are going to cover a great band”s music, you better make it your own- and they do just that.The band hints at The Stooges, Ramones, even some British Hardcore like Discharge or GBH (like the song Playing Around)- they can change directions from one song to the next without flinching. To top it off, they are one of the more dapper groups playing live; always in swank jackets and signature shades. Their live set is high-energy and you can tell that they are having fun, which usually guarantees that the audience will have a blast as well. See them live here.
While their style has not veered too far from their sound of a decade ago, as witnessed on their debut release Born on a Bender (2005), and last year’s self-titled ep, I think that they have become even tighter than ever if this recording is any indication; the production is flawless, delivering a thick and rugged sound, especially the bass which booms where it needed to shine. That may be because Norfolk’s Finest has been recorded, Mixed, mastered and co-produced (with the Bottle Babies) by Matt Katherman, who many will tell you is one of the best engineers in the Hampton Roads area ( and a solid musician in his own right). All in all, the band should be proud of this release, mainly because after 10 years they still have the juice, and are able to deliver like professionals.
The Bottle Babies are taking their show on the road August 23rd to Brooklyn, NY. And you can get this fine slab of adrenaline on Saturday, July 26th at the Belmont House of Smoke in Norfolk, when they host their Cd release party with Lisa Doll and the Rock & Roll Romance and Manana Couch.If you are in the area, you should come out and support them and buy the new CD. You will be glad that you did.