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MP3 Baboon - Something Good is Going to Happen to You

Noisy, art rock with punk''s energy and emotion.

12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Noise, ROCK: Modern Rock

Andrew Huffstetler of Baboon has many a fond memory of the golden age of the Fraternity of Noise. You would too, if you were there in the thick of it with him. Oh, to be young and playing loud, noisy post-punk and rock & roll alongside friends The Toadies and Brutal Juice . “It was fun being that young and inexperienced, just trying to make it step by step...”muses Huffstetler.

Ah, but that was nearly a dozen years ago, and much has changed. The end of the innocence came halfway through the decade, somewhere between the time when Baboon signed to fledgling major label Wind-Up Records and soon after begged to be dropped. They eventually were, but only after the label finally realized Baboon just weren''t going to be molded into the next Creed. The band comprised of Huffstetler on vocals, Mike Rudnicki on guitar, Steven Barnett on drums and Mark Hughes on bass -- regrouped, put out an EP (We Sing and Play) on their own and spent the next several years trying to reconnect with the simple joy of making music. Happily, the result, Something Good is Going to Happen to You, proves they succeeded.

“It is the most tuneful album we''ve done, with a distinct emphasis on melody and yes, even beauty, over noise for the sake of noise. It might surprise some of our fans,” Rudnicki admits. “We''ve had some pop elements in the past, but we''ve mainly just made a lot of noise, which is kind of addictive. I''m definitely more proud of this album than any of the others. This is the most fully realized album we''ve ever done.” “I don''t know if it''s a ‘kinder, gentler'' Baboon,” laughs Huffstetler. “But it is a more mature Baboon. I think we''ve done a complete circle back to where we began when we were writing pop songs but with a lot of aggression, a lot of emotion.”

A lot of that emotion stems from the life changes Huffstetler and the rest of the band have experienced since Baboon split from Wind-Up records following the release of 1997''s Secret Robot Control (their second full-length, following their 1994 Grass Records debut Face Down in Turpentine. The band went through a period weighing the pros and cons of playing music not for a living but for the fun of it (the pros won out). “The songs are a lot more emotional and personal this time, whereas before it was a lot of singing about girlfriends, bad girlfriends, breaking up, stuff like that, which gets a little old.”

And so while Something Good does nod to brutal sonics in songs like “Crash” and the chaotic “Pig Latin” (respectively), by and large it''s an album that digs deeper, both lyrically and musically. The songs are about fear, death, life, loss, comfort, dreams, perseverance and hope. “I think we were all kind of sick of all the manufactured angst on the radio,” says Rudnicki.

What else would you expect from an album named after televangelist Oral Robert''s trademark theme song? “It''s the hymn Oral Roberts would play at the end of his shows when people were being converted. I guess it can also be viewed as sarcastic, but I don''t think it''s intended that way. Overall it''s a pretty positive album, it''s not overtly ironic or dark” says Rudnicki.

Something Good is Baboon''s second release with Dallas-based Last Beat Records, following the 2001 live set A Bum Note and a Bead of Sweat. The band co-produced the album themselves with John Congleton of the Paperchase. “He recorded We Sing and Play, our first record after leaving Wind-Up, and it was up till that point the best experience we''d had in the studio,” raves Huffstetler. Also lending a hand to the band these days is former Toadies drummer Mark Reznicek, who has joined Baboon''s live line-up. “Having a ‘utility player'' is an element I''ve always wanted to add to the band,” says Huffstetler of Reznicek. “He''ll play keyboards, percussion and also have a stand-up drum kit on stage, so we''ll have two drummers at the same time for some songs.”

Huffstetler is quick dispelling any fears that that much has changed about this band. Sure, a Baboon set these days might likely lean more towards their melodic tendencies, but fans can still count on them to bring the noise, and plenty of it. “Our live shows are still balls-out noise and craziness,” he says. “We''ve always tried to bring a lot of energy to our shows, as much chaos as we could muster up.” In the past, that''s included everything from body paint to blood spitting to the spectacle of watching Barnett play drums while wearing a giant horse head mask. And both Huffstetler and Rudnicki, who formed Baboon together in 1991, promise that fans haven''t seen anything yet.

“We hadn''t reached our potential before, and I feel like we''re reaching it now,” says Rudnicki. “We''re going to really amp up the live show again. That, combined with the best record we''ve ever done, really makes us the best we''ve ever been.”

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