Sunday, May 17, 2009

Babes in Toyland - Fontanelle

Fontanelle is the most popular and best-known of Babes in Toyland's albums. It was their major-label debut for Warner Brothers in 1992, and became a minor hit thanks to the song, "Bruise Violet." This was really the perfect time for a band like this, after the Seattle grunge explosion and the days when Kurt Cobain ruled the music world. The whole order of things had been turned on its head. What better time for an all-female noise-rock band to make their statement?

Now that I think about, this was most likely the first Babes album I bought, back in 1994. I was certainly late to the party, but living in Duluth, MN kept you out of the loop on virtually everything. It was a cultural wasteland. Thank goodness MTV actually played music videos back then. Music videos by actual, everyday human beings, at that. The network has an ironclad "supermodels only" rule in place today. Does anyone with self-respect even watch MTV anymore?

Anyway, back to Fontanelle. The production values are more polished and "bigger" than Spanking Machine and To Mother, and yet it's also harsher, angrier, and heavier than the band's first two albums. This may be the harshest sounding album of their career. The songs are short and furious and fast; the abrubt editing gives you barely a moment's breath before the next assault.

What else is there to say? I can't think of anything else at the moment, because I'm humoring myself with Keyboard Cat videos.

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