Babylon Bastards, as the name might suggest, are a Norwegian hard rock act whose powerfully produced debut EP ‘we’re rats in the city streets’ is destined to work its way into your brain with all the tenacity of a crack addiction. Featuring four tracks which are dispensed in a mere fourteen minutes, these guys don’t hang around, kicking out riffs with sleazy glee and a punk attitude that brings to mind Duff McKagan when he used to regularly unleash ‘attitude’ on tour with G’n’R.
Opening with ‘We’re the rats in the city streets’, the band set the scene quickly with gutter-taught riffs and massed vocals all vying for attention against Jack Bastard’s on-the-money drumming which comes crashing out of the speakers with considerable force. ‘Nothing to lose’ channels the spirit of Iggy via MC5 and the pistols, all sneered vocals and throbbing bass wrapped up in leather and smeared with spittle. It helps considerably that for all the ferocity, the members of Babylon Bastards are also very good musicians, slamming out raging solos with a Slash vibe and keeping the beat solid throughout, no matter how out of control the vocals might sound. The third track, ‘Disillusion’ is a full-throttle ride that owes a fair deal to the Ramones with its high speed, high-octane still packing a carefully concealed pop melody that you’ll be hard pressed to drag from your mind. The band saved the best for last on this all too short EP, with ‘Never alone’ boasting taut riffs and depth by the bucketful. It sees the EP leaving you wanting more and there is no doubt that Babylon Bastards have both the riffs and the attitude to get a venue pumping.
A throwback to the days of G’n’R, ripped jeans and shiny leather, Babylon Bastards have cheerfully captured the sound of a whiskey-soaked night on the town, their hard-wearing anthems of rebellion fuelled by illicit substances and a single-minded dedication to having a good time. Too few bands tread the boards with the sense of danger that you got from bands like Skid Row, G’n’R and the Pistols – if you’re a fan of poodle-haired rock, forget about it, this is the wild-eyed sound of hedonism cranked up to eleven and launched at the crowd with a violence and volume that will leave you reeling. Short, sweet and a fine introduction to the band, if you love music that has both balls and an annoyingly memorable line in hooks, then Babylon Bastards should be your next stop.