Baby Robots – Lakitu: The Baby Robot

Baby Robots
Lakitu: The Baby Robot

Much like Guided by Voices, Baby Robots centers around one Bobby Baker and his recording partner / bandmate Matt Cohen. There’s a revolving lineup on each song featuring various combinations of eight fellow robotic contributors. However, the musicians involved are all on board with Baker’s vision, and this doesn’t sound like a pick-up band by any means. Whether you’re a fan of classic indie rock or experimental music in the rock vein, you’re sure to find a lot to like on Lakitu: the Baby Robot.
These particular Baby Robots like their music slow and psychedelic, hypnotic and trance-inducing. On “Say What I Say,” there’s a whole pile of evident influences here: the laid-back, strained vocals of J. Mascis, an air-splitting mass of My Bloody Valentine guitars, the down-home feel of a classic Sebadoh recording, the deliberate tempo crawls of Luna. If you can imagine a combination of these sounds, you’ll be damn close to getting a feel for this group. It sounds like a lot of time was spent just sitting around the bedroom and mastering a MASSIVE, all-encompassing guitar and bass skronk. In other words, it’s perfect headphone listening. This is the kind of music that’s perfect for winding down after a long day at work or a long night at the bar.
Although these songs quite often work, there’s a few of the more experimental numbers that don’t really take hold. Take “Sailor the Puppet,” a five-minute slab ‘o’ instrumental weirdness that consists of a wall of guitar feedback and tape loops, with a sloooow four-chord mandolin pattern playing over the top. It’s only mildly interesting for the first three minutes, and after that it approaches absurdity. (Sounds like maybe someone should lay off the Nyquil.) “Leave Me a Note” is a track of dissonant instrumental wankin’, with only the song title repeated ad infinitum by both a male and female voice. Syd Barrett probably would appreciate this more than I do. Considering these are the only missteps to be found, you could certainly do a lot worse.
Since this isn’t the sort of music that can be toured around, you’d be well advised to e-mail the band and seek out a copy of this one, because it’s one of the best slabs of soundscape rock I’ve heard this year.