Recently, a conversation between Gabriel Flores [singer/guitars for Babylon] and myself occurred at a bar in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles where Gabriel used the genre psychedelic rock to describe Babylon’s sound. Upon hearing their self-titled cassette that Mock Records recently released, my expectations were completely undermined by the intensity and volume by the compositions they put on that thing. Babylon’s been making headway across Southern California’s revitalized and internationally recognized psych scene for the past few years touring the circuit alongside groups like Acid Mother’s Temple and various dives, parties & venues across the Southland. Originally touring and releasing bootleg quality cassettes under their former guise, Babylon Sweethearts, this is the first proper release and to make it more confounding, they STILL limited it to only a cassette release in the physical product world. Weird as it sounds, didn’t matter as the first pressing seems to have sold through, save those Walkman people.
The great thing about these guys is they’re one of those groups whose live sound is replicated tit for tat on their recordings, so you can get a clear idea of how they are regardless of where you’re at with them. Clocking in at nearly 25:00 upon six tracks, it’s a short and to the point release of cacophonous fuzz pedal rock. That last description rings especially true with the opening track “Earthborn Child” and riffs Gabriel and his cohorts Andy Moreno [guitar] and George Camacho [bass] play off each other along with frantic drumming of Joey Red [old battery man] that makes the unit sound like the recording space is a small wooden shed, it adds character! For the most part, this album would sound better if it was recorded as an instrumental because when you look past the vocals, it sounds like the early recordings from the likes of The Heads. “Medulla Oblongata” is a great rhythmic jam piece (also an instrumental!) while the cream of the six tracks would have to belong to the concluding track “Lovely Lady”. Solid effort from a solid band, check them out.