Prettiest Eyes and Babylon At Union Club, Wednesday June 28th 2017
The Union club is a venue where I had never been before, but I got to see one of their free shows featuring Prettiest Eyes and Babylon on Wednesday night. I have seen the band Prettiest Eyes a bunch of times, but their music always strike me as something totally out of the ordinary, Prettiest Eyes follow their own path, do not try to copy anything that already exists, and build an anxious drone around such loud abrasion and distortion that you can’t ignore them as soon as they start their hypnotic music.
Pachy is on drums and vocals and at center stage, screaming through a voice-altering device and giving the fast pace of the show with the help of bassist Marco (wearing a cowboy hat) who attacks the stage and the music from every direction, while Paco on keyboard adds noise and distortion to the chaotic and furious tempo. There is obviously a punk spirit in their throbbing music pushing the sound, the noise and the distortion to the limit of what you have already heard in a song, and the result is tribal but borderline experimental, primal and bewitching. With songs entitled ‘Gold Snake’ or ‘LSD’ they bring you on a fast-paced trip, with powerful neuron-shaking tunes and the girl on my right was so much into it that she was screaming at the same time than Pachy and when he climbed on his drumset and fell down in a moment of intense grand finale, she almost fell on me too.
Babylon had a tremendous sound, with tunneling guitar solos that did not end until the next one stretching the song to another instrumental part of their psychedelic stoners,… and heavy psychedelia was the term that immediately came to my mind after a few minutes. Who has said that guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll was dead? Babylon is a band which obviously wants to revive the glorious times of guitars and I can only applaud their fate in real rock ‘n’ roll.
Gabe Flores on guitar, TJ Lemieux on drums, Andy Caly on guitar, and Gorge Camacho on bass were probably more after the thrill of a loud fuzzy instrumental jam than after a melody as the guitars repeatedly piled up into a eardrum-demolishing monster and the very rare echoing vocals were deeply buried in what sounded like a mountain of heavy-epic riffs furiously battling with each other
The distortion was intense and the colossal strength of their guitars and drums combined often reached metal-level whereas they never sounded like another trite head banging metal band. Their set turned into some sweaty and complex smashing-drum-guitar-shredding prog-rock insanity as many songs stretched and stretched into another Godzilla. A lot of their inspiration seemed to come from 70s psychedelic music but this was just pushed to another sound limit and when a more distinct melody would raise above the chaos, it was soon crashed by another loud noise episode.
Their look truly fitted their sound as their long dark manes were constantly whipping the huge riffs, whereas the very bizarre psychedelic rainbow-like lightning of the club added to the ambiance. it was an empowering set almost touching euphoria going from druggy highs to some rare and strangely calmer moods. Two bands like these and almost two hours of loud fuzz and distortion are enough to seriously mess up with your hearing but this was some true-to-the-core rock ‘n’ roll and nothing else should matter.