Made Out of Babies Coward

Following up last year’s blistering debut, Trophy, NYC’s Made Out of Babies’ follow-up, Coward, ups the demented ferocity tenfold. From the unsettling imagery that adorns the album’s cover alone, it’s quite simple to determine the subject matter is not exactly cut out for lullaby time. Julie Christmas’s homicidal cry is both creepy and hostile, while succumbing to enough sensibility to keep it remarkably accessible and in the ranks of the best hard rock front-women. Whether she is screaming about road kill or the sickening details of a bloody murder scene, her caterwaul never settles into any comfort zone, which keeps the vocals on par with the always unruly mayhem that surrounds her. This wall of noise owes a lot to the aggressive sludge the Jesus Lizard peddled, but there’s a lot of tuneage and variety — explicitly the dizzying storm of "Mr. Prison Shanks” — on display to wrap your melody-craving ears around. From the primal screams that abrasively kick-start the proceedings, Coward unravels in wondrous chaos that never relents; even when they take the tempo down a notch on the slow pacing of "Fed” or even try for that "Lullaby” darkness looms unrestricted. This is a taste of chaos, and the flavour is lip-smacking. (Neurot)