Sunday, May 17, 2009
Babes in Toyland - Painkillers
Painkillers was Babes in Toyland's 1993 album, an EP comprised of five newly-recorded songs and a live concert from the Fontanelle tour. It was put out to capitalize on the band's short tour with Lollapallooza '93. For many, there's no doubt that it feels a bit thin after the monster album that was Fontanelle, but I've always the songs on Painkillers more. Perhaps it's just the ongoing progression of the band, but these tunes felt more alive to me, more nuanced, a little more vibrant.
It seems to me that these songs are bigger, more faceted. Fontanelle's songs were very blunt, short and focused. But Babes in Toyland worked best with the more dynamic songs. "Laredo" and "Angel Hair" are perfect examples of this. Those are two of the best songs in the Babes' catalog.
Now that I think of it, why weren't there more songs on Painkillers? There's no reason why Kat, Lori and Maureen couldn't bash out at least two or three more songs. There are only four new songs on the first side; "He's My Thing" is a more aggressive retake from Spanking Machine. So that only leaves four tracks. Not a lot to chew on. It's always so easy to beg for more Babes' songs now, after they've long since disappeared from the earth. If only there were a stash of old tapes just stored away in Kat or Lori's attic. If only, if only.
Hmm...was this the first Babes in Toyland album I bought? I honestly can't remember anymore. I bought lots of cassette tapes back in the day. Yeah, you heard me. Cassettes. This might have been my first one. That album cover is just too cool to resist. Knowing how my brain works, Painkillers would have led me to Fontanelle (side two) and Spanking Machine (side one). I think that's the story I'm going with from now on.