The Scottish alt-rock project Girobabies were introduced at the tail end of last year.
A live version of the fifth of the ten tracks on Who Took Utopia (available on bandcamp) – Late Night Sketchy reminds me exactly why they were the Editor’s Choice for Band Of the Month in December 2015.
The unhurried delivery and immense range of texture and ideas in the track holds the attention whilst an ever present back-drop of percussion ensures the thread of travel is focussed as the vocal lays like a darkening cloak of foreboding in which the listener can wallow in abject misery.
Girobabies is the alt-rock project of Mark McGhee (Vocals), Robbie Gunn (Guitar), Gordy Duncan Jr (drums), Jess (Keys) and Jo D’Arc (Bass) from Glasgow in Scotland.
Girobabies – Who Took Utopia? – Vinyl
With a couple of releases behind them prior to the launch of the LP Who Took Utopia?Girobabies have established themselves in the live performance circuit. Established musicians with other vehicles this is reflected in the out-put which has a self-assured confidence as the quintet take the listener on a journey of different spaces.
Girobabies do not use volume or speed to create the impact of their material, rather the depth of textures which wrap themselves around the room like a bespoke pair of gloves and the listener finds themselves engrossed by the out-put.
Whilst the musicians paddle away busily to deliver the complex structures of sound they arrive to the ears with the elegance of a swan gliding across a still pond. The keys add a subtle layer of background from around which the guitar slithers its layering while percussion maintains an ever present sense of underlaying rising-panic giving the material its brooding, threatening presence whilst the superbly delivered vocals generate the context. As regular readers know my favoured section of a band is pretty well always the bass and the fact that it hasn’t been mentioned in the sound description rightly leads you to believe it needs its own commendation as it is wielded with undeniable ability ranging from hiding in the mix of sounds to standing like a gravestone to which the out-put pays homage.
Though the LP was released back in September it is also being released on the 18th as a limited edition coloured milky-vinyl through Grebo Records, whose limited run releases increasingly feature. Both the digital and vinyl versions of Who Took Utopia? are available on bandcamp – though there will only be 300 of the vinyl run.