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Phoenix + Amazing Baby = Quite Possibly Delicious

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 12, 2009 4:20PM

Amazing Baby
One could argue that glossy pop is the product of an overindulgent mindset, but one would be wrong. Pop takes simple components and weaves them together in surprising and ear-popping arrangements. Listen to something like Beyonce's "Halo," with it's Queen stomps, glacial synths and odd warbles for proof of this. There is no practical reason that song should sound so good with all those disparate elements, but it does.

If you want to hear what indulgent music sounds like, might we recommend Amazing Baby's debut, Rewild. Like a prog-rock Marc Bolan, these guys take every instrument they can get their hands on and throw it into the mix. This is the sort of music whose stage show demands smoke, capes, and giant gongs. In fact, if their appearance at park West Saturday night doesn't include those things we'll be sorely let down. To describe their music as a maelstrom would be to pull punches. In fact the grandiose ambitions off the group strain at the edges of bitrate and demand to be captured on reel to reel tape. This, my friends, is true stoner rock. It's hazy yet heavy; orchestral but authentically rocking. It's amazing, baby.

On the other side off the spectrum is Phoenix, who politely turn in a pleasantly catchy album of '80s flecked pop in the form of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. There's no denying the catchiness of tracks like "Lisztomania" and "1901," and this is reinforced by the jillion and a half remixes of those tracks floating around online. We're somewhat mystified by the overly effusive praise for the disc though. It's undeniably a strong album, but it's also one that is meant to be taken in bits and pieces. If you consume it from start to finish too many times a sense of fatigue settles between your ears. This is the definition of an album of singles. Take aurally at reasonable intervals and you'll always come out the other end with a satisfied smile.

So it would seem strange that these two groups are on tour together, no? No. In fact, each shares an element of the other that makes the pairing not only reasonable but brilliant. Amazing Baby does have an ear for the hook, even if they bury it underneath mounds of guitars, strings, and horns. And Phoenix has a penchant for stretching into proggy territory as on the two part song suite "Love Like A Sunset." We're actually tickled that someone concocted a bill that has so much potential to work together internally and create dynamic possibilities via internal combustion.

The show is sold out, but if you can score tickets do so post haste and you will have zero regrets.

Park West, 322 W Armitage, June 13, 8 p.m., SOLD OUT, all ages