Fireworks

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Backyard Babies - 'Them XX' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/6a/d6/4a/389_Backyardbabies_1275839627.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     June 06, 2010    
 
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Best Of compilation from the Swedish rockers.

Spanning two decades of electrifying music, Sweden’s premier rock ‘n’ rollers witness definitive triumph with a long-awaited, ‘Best Of’ compilation. As evidenced by the album’s iconic cover art, the punk-tinged anthems contained within are nothing short of hard rock perfection. Boasting old school attitude laced with a thrilling shot of adrenalin, Backyard Babies pay unique homage to the movement, whilst studiously avoiding the copycat simplicity of their less imaginative peers. Scratch the feel-good surface of ‘Them XX’ to reveal undiscovered depths of complexity and movingly personal lyricism.
Crammed with low-slung, faintly Sabbath-esque axemanship, ‘Highlights’ is a shining example of the album’s chameleonic content. As intoxicating as an evening of ale-drenched excess, a monstrous tangle of distortion generates an authentically raw sound quality, topped with Nicke Borg’s equally abrasive, rasping verses. Though better known for cheerily anthemic hits, the quartet prove equally adept at crafting hypnotic solos, layering cavernous grooves with howling chord progressions.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, nostalgia and catchy minimalism remain the indisputable selling points of this release. Tinged with Billy Idol’s signature swagger, ‘Minus Celsius’ is a fiercely contagious affair, coloured with a carefully measured hit of anti-establishment angst. Backyard Babies’ legendary talent for high-volume vocal hooks is also keenly apparent, though smoothly produced enough to remain accessible. A barrage of punk trappings add the finishing touches to the rabble-rousing end result.
While expertly performed, ‘Them XX’s’ occasionally simplistic musicianship and cheesy lyrics may appeal only to die-hard rock ’n’ roll enthusiasts. As the token power ballad, ‘Abandon’ feels a tad clichéd, but is nonetheless evocative, as a flurry of acoustic guitar melds with euphoric stadium rock sections. With emotive clarity in all the right places, the piece proves fine testament to the band’s musical maturity.
Whether newcomer or stalker fan, any self-respecting rocker will adore the highly collectible ‘Them XX.’
Faye Coulman
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