Under Review


Tape V (Planet of the Tapes)

by Shane Scott-Travis

Victoria B.C.’s Babysitter are a savvy bunch of garage gourmets whose love of lo-fi and d.i.y. decor is honest and appealing. Their current 13-track release, Tape V, is a nice yet naughty marriage of messy, trebly, hiss-saturated indie rock wrapped in a rousing little party.

Their post-punk progression occasionally evokes Bee Thousand-era Guided By Voices on tracks like “I Need to Get High Before I Kill Myself” and “Middle Class Skid,” as far as fractured and messy jangle is concerned. But more often then not their noisy and irreverent nature, akin to acts like Royal Trux or Cobra Verde, suggests a tiger-by-the-tail punk urgency, only with an important sense of humour and mirth. “Kool Town,” for instance, delights in shallow wisecracking lyrics playing up hipster patter and pretension. “Song for Kellen” is a short burst of rock ‘n’ roll platitudes, but at just over a minute, it’s effective in it’s fast footsteps. Most of the songs barely pass the minute mark, making Tape V a sometimes abrupt but still amusing diversion with its fair share of hooks.

Babysitter isn’t the type of band to appeal to a wide demographic. Their angst-ridden sneering, muddy sound and entirely unrefined slant are sure to confuse those with more conventional tastes. But if you’ve got a weakness for home-recording projects, delightfully dirty noise rock and occasional amateurish yet gung-ho tenacity (think Half Japanese or the Shaggs) then look no further than this band. Obeying punk precepts, Babysitter will let the kids curse, cut loose and stay up way past their bedtime.