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The Joint Between

Babils

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Album Review

The influence of Makoto Kawabata's Acid Mothers Temple is palpable throughout Babils' first official album. Does it mean that this French group is a clone of AMT? Not exactly. In fact, if this five-piece does take some serious cues from the almighty Japanese crew, there are also enough noticeable differences and idiosyncratic quirks to make this group interesting and worthy of your time. Of particular importance is the presence of trumpeter Lukas Vangheluwe, whose elephant calls have inspired the album's cover artwork. The trumpet provides the group with a signature sound of sorts and helps set it aside from other heavy psychedelic rock bands. The Joint Between offers ten tracks ranging from single length to improvisations over ten minutes long. Some tracks are overtly experimental and sound/noise-based (in that vein, "Drache" is particularly successful), but most pieces are solid groove-based tunes. For instance, "Hommes Éléphants" ("Elephant Men"), "Préventorium," and "Procrasti" are all driven by plodding beats and drenched in noise guitar. "Hommes Éléphants" has an apocalyptic feel that turns out to be more entertaining than menacing after six minutes. The extended "Dent de Sagesse" (with guest Sébastien Mary on flute) illustrates that, just like AMT, Babils can easily switch from head-numbing acid rock to pastoral space folk. If you like your space rock loud, echo-drenched, daring, and slightly tongue-in-cheek, you should find this debut opus to be very promising. ~ François Couture, Rovi

The Joint Between, Babils
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