Record Review: Babydriver


Sad Soldier Red

Boston, MA

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“Twists and turns weave smart, twangy rock”

Sad Soldier Red, the new recording from Boston scene vet Tommy Palmer under the Babydriver name, is a playful, purposeful journey through his twangy rock dreamscape. While mostly melancholy and bluesy, it never fails to energize with its tickling sonic touches of whistling, well-panned guitar overdubs, comforting reverb, and other textures. What makes the EP stand out is its adventurous song structure coupled with Palmer’s confident and flexible voice. Just as you become familiar with a track, time turns around or a new section appears – often interjected with stops that amplify the impact.

“Best You Should Know” never quite seems to land on the hook you expect is coming, building tension until a deliciously melodic guitar/vocal line powerfully rushes in with an irresistible quirkiness. The title track features punchy vocals that delicately bounce between hard stabs, fluttering falsetto, and belted-out boldness. And “Danny Electric” and others prosper with keyboard appearances from the Spirit Kid himself, Emeen Zarookian, adding another layer of harmony and authority to the mix. Overall, this is a calculated music-for-musician’s record; one that takes a few listens to fully digest and which builds value through repeated spins. (War of 1812 Records)

Recorded at Basement 247 & Welsch City Studios

Produced by Jack Younger

Engineered by Evan Rushcer

Mastered by Nick Zampiello & Rob Gonneola at New Alliance East

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