I first learned about Stolen Babies a few months ago. Since then, I could’ve allowed myself to regret and mourn all the time that I hadn’t been listening to them. Rather than self-flagellating, I dove into their dark avant-garde world, as though I had purchased a ticket to some nightmarish carnival that tickled and teased every twisted and perverse avenue of my imagination.
And so it was that I entered listening to their latest album Naught, with images of American McGee’s Alice mingling with scenes from The City Of Lost Children, all housed in a carnival tent out of Killer Klowns From Outer Space. So, was this trip worth the price of admission or did I end up wanting a refund? Find out below.
The album opens with “Never Come Back”, which begins heavy, with distorted guitars and punches of accordion. Singer Dominique Lenore Persi shifts effortlessly from terrifying raspy screams to engaging, near musical theater cleans. It is clear that this is a show and she is putting everything on the line to engage the audience.
Fans of more extreme styles of music would do well to listen to “Mousefood”, which begins with snappy bass lines and devolves into an aural world of madness. “I Woke Up” is nothing short of a nightmare, something that would fit perfectly in Silent Hill. And for those who are into the musical stylings of Danny Elfman, “Swimming Hole” has you covered.
This is an album that demands multiple listens simply for the wealth of instruments and tones used. The production is beautifully done, sounding fresh and exhilarating. It is the type of album that makes me love music all over again. If ever there were an album to convince your musical theater friends to try metal, this is it.
The Final Word: Insane, unpredictable, engaging, and sometimes terrifying, Naught is a fascinating album that is unbelievably entertaining. Stolen Babies have quickly moved to my go-to artists for daily listening.
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