Made Out of Babies
Thurs June 16
Sabala's Mt Tabor
4811 SE Hawthorne

We don't need to be clinging to more clichés about women in rock these days, but there are a couple that usually seem to hold true. A general rule of thumb, for example, is that the harder the rock show, the more of a sausage party it's going to be. And in terms of hard rock band membership, the guy to girl ratio is even more pronounced. In fact, there are many cases where it seems a penis is a more necessary asset than a half stack or any particular music ability. Well, Brooklyn's Made Out of Babies does their best to tip the gender scales--and the fact that their singer Julie Christmas is beautiful and statuesque and has a voice like a demon scraping its tail on a chalkboard doesn't hurt the band's image much either.

The band's debut, Trophy, is freshly burned from Neurosis' increasingly schizophrenic Neurot label. The record is crawling with tense John Bonham-styled drum tantrums and corrosive guitar eruptions that make you feel like you've just bitten into a sheet of tinfoil. In terms of the obligatory band references, the Babies sound is not unlike Jesus Lizard, Today is the Day, or Unsane. (The last comparison is not especially surprising, as bassist Cooper plays in another band with Unsane bassist Dave Curran.)

That said, the music isn't always perfect--Trophy is a brutalizing, but at times an overly familiar walk down '90s noise-rock's craggy memory lane. Still, tracks like "Ire Fire," with its rapid battery of serpentine riffs and yelps are satisfying for the extremo rock lover. The chugging stop and go riffs of "Sugar" at first wouldn't seem out of place on the KUFO playlist, until you realize that Julie Christmas is singing about eating too much sugar and eating the scabs off her knees.

All and all, I'd venture a bet that Made Out of Babies tear it up live, and witnessing one of the fairer sex putting 90% of band dudes to shame and screaming like her lungs just caught on fire seems well worth the price of admission.