Deep Dark Blue is easily one of the best albums of 2012 and one of our favourites, a release which shows that the creativity of Inca Babies just gets richer and more delicious. The thirteen track album is a sensational treat which teases and ignite the passions with all the expected shadows conjured by the band brewed in a sweltering vat of new imagination and mesmeric enterprise.
Since its beginnings in 1982, the Manchester band has brought a distinct and hypnotic presence to rock n roll with their punk spine combining trash rock, surf punk, garage blues. The early days brought great acclaim and popularity, the band playing four John Peel Show sessions over the years, frequently topping indie charts, and playing tours and dates across Europe, not to forget releasing four acclaimed albums and numerous equally received singles. The time also saw the band struggle with holding onto drummers and singers to remain alongside guitarist Harry Stafford and bassist Bill Marten. This eventually led to the demise of the band in the late eighties, Inca Babies running out of suitable options. The release of the Best Of… compilation album Plutonium in 2006, ignited great interest on the band again and it reformed the following year with Gold Blade drummer Rob Haynes joining Stafford who took on vocals too, and Marten. As gigs followed inside and beyond the UK, the band began working on their first original album since reforming but sadly midway through Marten passed away and everything was put on hold as the band came to terms with the devastating loss. Eventually in tribute to and to keep his legacy alive the band, with friend and former A Witness bass player Vince Hunt coming into the setup, completed the album Death Message Blues which was released late 2010.johnn
Released on their own Black Lagoon Records, their sixth studio album is quite possibly their best work yet, the maturity and experiences of the band leading to songs which just lay organically on the heart as if born from your own personal passion. Rightly or wrongly we have always thought of Inca Babies as the UK version of The Birthday Party, not necessarily in sound but in journeying through the darkest of shadows and using them as a wrapping to their unique vision. Deep Dark Blue again gives plenty of evidence for us to remain casting that ‘shadow’ over them whilst continuing to mark the band as something which is one of a kind.
The album opens with is their first single for twenty five years, My Sick Suburb. Opening on simple beats and a grouchy bass the track is an instant bluesy attraction especially with the jangly guitar and vocals of Stafford soon adding their presence. It is an uncluttered track with a sure swagger which ticks all the boxes, and though the choice of single from the album would have been different for us you can see why it was chosen and not argue with its open effectiveness.
From a strong start the album just gets better and better. The following But Not This Time is a fiery stomp of sonic guitar rubs and what in no time becomes an addictive element of the whole release, that heavily prowling and throaty bass invention. Throughout many of the songs the Cramps like breath which lacquers the sound is irresistible with this song and the next up title track the first such pleasures. This track is a smouldering stroll through a heated atmosphere with caging rhythms and sizzling guitar sonics which place the senses on edge and set the heart alight. It is a twisted blues piece of grandeur with an acidic twang and viral infection to its gait.
It is so tempting to wax lyrical about every track on the album but will resist and just mention personal highlights amongst only nonstop irrepressible and contagious slices of delight. Firstly there is the twin scintillation of the gallows themed Following Jorges and the psyche elegant Bikini Quicksand, both with a similar yet different heat to their coruscate air. Tracks like Tower Of Babel and Monologues Of Madness also trigger all the passions possible but all are exceeded by two songs, Endgame Check Out Club and Sven Hassel v Billy The Kid. The first of the pair is a track which plays like a psychobilly Johnny Cash track spiced with The Screaming Blue Messiahs, its infectious groove and scorching solo a welcome sonic branding which any one would be proud to bear. The second is just brilliance in action, everything about the song an ‘orgasmic’ addiction. Punk guitars graze the ear whilst sharing time with vocal and bass lures just impossible to resist, their combined mischief sheer genius. Easily one of the best songs heard this year its mix of bruising storms and magnetic simplicity is quite masterful and a true triumph.
As declared earlier every track on Deep Dark Blue is outstanding, making for an album which should stand to the fore of any best of lists and the heart of all who engage its magnificent company.
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