Cry Baby Cry Jesus Loves Stacey

Washington, DC’s Cry Baby Cry has obviously lifted their moniker from the song of the same name on The Beatles. However, musically they owe an equal part to their DC punk ancestors. Jesus Loves Stacey defies pigeonholing by dividing songs between bouncing guitar-pop numbers, propulsive punk anthems and solemn laments. The line-up of two girls and two boys not only makes them easy to seat at dinner parties, but also leads to better than average vocal harmonies for a four-piece rock band. Their richly arranged multi-part harmonies also share time with punk rock growls, shouts, rhythmic chants and falsetto warbling. Vocal leads are shared by guitarist Kathy Cashel, who seems to be responsible for the more earnest ballads and dirges, while her guitar buddy, James Brady, clocks in with some of the goofier up tempo tracks. While all of the songs are peppered with curious little hooks, it’s the bouncier ones that playfully insinuate themselves into the subconscious. This pattern is typified by the title track "Jesus Loves Stacey,” which is a clever, funny, epigrammatic and hook-laden pop gem. Whether it’s raw punk energy, sedate ballads or juicy, melodic, guitar-driven singsong pop, Cry Baby Cry melds pointedly funny lyrics with oblique clever verses in a big old contradictory gumbo. (Skoda)