The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

Are You Listening



If you like the idea of dirty raw late 80’s Sunset Strip hard rock peppered with a smattering of early 80’s British metal touches, then you’ve come to the right place – Babyjane have delivered one of the best debut albums of the year in “Are You Listening”.


Self-produced then mixed by metal legend Michael Wagener at his Double Take Studio in Nashville, and mastered first by George Marino in NYC, then Eric Conn & Don Cobb back in Nashville, Babyjane have a strong and individual sound deftly melding the sleazy feel of too many late night parties with the heavy riffing and pounding rhythms of traditional British heavy metal. This is one rock album which rolls with a groove not often heard on debuts, a virtue of the four members of Babyjane slogging it out for years in go-nowhere bands, learning their trade and developing their style the hard way.


Hiring such big names to mix and master the album is a bold plan for an unknown band – and an expensive one at that, and Babyjane have thrown themselves into this headfirst, playing innumerable shows to pay for such high-level input.


It’s paid off in spades – “Are You Listening” is a world class album that simply sounds fantastic. Sonically Wagener has delivered a crisp and clean sound that is rich and full of feeling, without sacrificing an ounce of the essential rawness and red blooded hunger of their late night bar-hardened sound.


The title track is the obvious choice for lead single, and their video for that should be released very soon. It’s feverishly catchy and eminently singable, tailor made for playing at top volume with the windows down as you cruise the city streets after dark on the hunt for action.


The album features its share of great catchy rockers - ‘Li’l Gutters’, ‘Can You Keep A Secret’ and ‘Four Rusted Egos’ especially stand out, slabs of groove metal in ‘Twenty Too Many’ and ‘Tell Me (What I need to know)’, as well as ‘Demontonic’ which has a leather boot clad foot in both bases, featuring a stomping Iron Maidenesque middle breakdown.


There’s a couple of tracks that could have used a little extra melodic punch, but that’s something that I’m sure getting a good producer in next time round will address, and there’s so much to like here that it’s just splitting hairs – this is a great ride from start to finish and there’s nothing on “Are You Listening” which doesn’t kick out the jams.


Officially released in February 2011, for now the band have a few copies available with a collectable sleeve – don’t hesitate ‘cos they’ll be gone soon!


Shane Rockpit