Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Track Review: Babyshambles - Farmer's Daughter

There's a shy of excitement going around the dirty indie nightclubs and gritty British pubs because Babyshambles are about to drop their third album, Sequel to the Prequel. Pre-release single "Nothing Comes To Nothing" set out to take back the Libertines' / Babyshambles' fan from The Strokes / Palma Violets. Pete Doherty cried: 'we want our fans back', it was met with quiet receptions and a response of: 'yeah? show us what you can do'. That sly British lyricism wasn't present on "Nothing Comes To Nothing". Doherty's cynicism however, is there for all to hear. We like him when he's upset, angry, wanting something more than a Rough Trade hit.

Down in Albion
and Shotter's Nation are two conceptual albums, far apart musically but entwined by Doherty's off-stage personality. Only a short Libertines reunion and a solo album come between Shotter's Nation and the upcoming Sequel to the Prequel, so Doherty knows there’s a story to be told. His own side-project - left for dead in the year 2007 after "Carry On Up The Morning" impressed. Babyshambles' third studio album however, isn't sounding like the lead guitar indie rock riffs and exceptional percussion that made Shotter's Nation a garage rock album among electro rock releases.

Babyshambles never took over British rock music. The Libertines, as great as they were, left behind a shallow hole which still hasn't been filled. Sure, indie rock bands have come and gone over the years since The Libertines, but none have been as instrumental. Arctic Monkeys went half-way, but hit a blockade as their third album stalled. With Babyshambles return, it brings some serious indie rock questioning. 

"Farmer's Daughter" sounds nothing like their previous single "Nothing Comes To Nothing". It doesn’t even come close in any remarkable format. Its genre sways from the garage rock / indie rock demeanour to a more general rock / alternative, as Doherty reaches out and cancels out his London twang. Doherty's rhythm guitar is ever present, tuned and played to his best ability, but mixed and arranged to a pretty standard construction. "Farmer's Daughter" is disappointing after the promising change of sound showed on "Nothing Comes To Nothing". Doherty's chorus sounds like-every-single-American-indie-band-that-has-adverts-on-YouTube. Both the content and production are painful. Whoever was mixing "Farmer's Daughter" must have spilled tea all over his deck, because it sounds way over the top. Doherty's vocal is screeching - it actually hurts the ears. The combination of instruments fail to fit together - it's been crunched in to a tiny packet of noise. After all the heinous noise, it finally clicks. Babyshambles have literally taken every Velvet Underground song and mixed them to create a bloated album track. If the Sequel to the Prequel excitement was at 70% before this release, then it's now straight back down to 30%... We'll be waiting for another quality British indie rock band for decades.

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