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Babylon Shakes - Exile to the Velveteen Lounge Award winner

Babylon Shakes
Exile to the Velveteen Lounge
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 23 February 2019, 7:39 AM

In 1983, what we can call as Glam Metal (back in those days, it was called North American Hard Rock, or just Hard Rock) became the new musical sensation, storming through radios stations on USA and earning Metal musicians the status of celebrities. Some were use a more melodic approach on their music and even some touches of AOR entered their music; others preferred to look and sound nasty and outrageous as they could. When the talk is about shocking androgyny on the visual along with nasty (and heavy) music, the name of MÖTLEY CRÜE is the first to be remembered, and soon FASTER PUSSYCAT is another one that the fans think. Now imagine the savage nasty melodies of both of them working on a same band with a strong dose of Sleazy Rock, putting along influences from NEW YORK DOLLS and HANOI ROCKS. That’s what the North American quartet BABYLON SHAKES is about with “Exile to the Velveteen Lounge”, their latest album.

Their music is a fine celebration for the 80’s Californian Glam Metal scene, but sounding nasty and outrageous for those who say that Metal is the devil’s music. Excellent and charming choruses, melodies that are easy to assimilate, a strong influence from earlier North American Hard Rock from the 70’s, and all the musical insight is that same one that you could find on Sunset Strip between 1983 and 1989, but on a modern and personal vision of the quartet. Produced, mixed and mastered by Zach Jones, the outfit used for the sound quality of “Exile to the Velveteen Lounge” is a tribute to the past (because it sounds organic and fresh, without endless digital editions), but being clear and heavy as in the present, balancing the sound aggressiveness with the nasty feeling. It’s great, indeed.

All the songs of “Exile to the Velveteen Lounge” are great, a pure overdose of Glam Metal/Sleazy Rock adrenaline, but the nasty catchy melodies of “Making a Million” (excellent vocals and chorus) and of “Sunset Striptease” (this one presents excellent and melodic guitar riffs), the grasping weight of “Sin Parade” (very good work from bass guitar and drums), “Silver Tongue Devil” with its Sleazy Rock outrageous feeling, and the “put-the-house-down” Hard/Glam blow called “Motel Lights” are the best shots of the album. But put it to play and let it roll!

It’s a great album, indeed, and for those who miss the old days, “Exile to the Velveteen Lounge” was made for you, so pay attention to what BABYLON SHAKES is about.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Making a Million
2. Sunset Striptease
3. Sin Parade
4. No Pictures Please
5. Velveteen Libertine
6. Silver Tongue Devil
7. Hardtimes
8. Die Pretty
9. Star in Your Eyes
10. Motel Lights
Chris Clark - Guitars, Vocals
Gary Jordan - Guitars, Vocals
Dave Elmore - Bass, Vocals
Jeff “Morty” Mortimer - Drums, Vocals
Record Label: HighVol Music


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