Total Babes - Heydays

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2015-05-18

My expectations for the second album by Total Babes weren’t all that high. Secondary band members in a pretty good band, Cloud Nothings, getting together once in a while for an outlet for buried pop songs - well, there you go.

Heydays, however, might have them thinking about a new primary band. There are no total babes in Total Babes (unless they’re doing a live show at a maximum security prison anywhere in America). They're just a bunch of guys from Ohio, but this group of guys have put together a near-classic set of post-punk gems. Although the first track, ‘Blurred Time’ sets an odd 90s snotty-nosed pop-punk theme that some may not listen through, the songs get stronger as it goes along.

TB, on this album, conjure up comparisons to the Replacements' Let It Be, with their ingeniously executed scuzzy-garage guitars, smart and smart-aleck lyrics, and occasionally brilliant transitions to quieter, gentler tracks such as ‘Repeat Gold’. The openings of ‘Heydays’ and ‘We’ll Come Around’ are more like the artsier Ought than the thousand or so laidback surfer-punk bands that try to do this sound and don’t quite hit the mark.

'Total Babes' hits the mark through all its 30 minutes. And there is nothing to criticize in the album being only 30 minutes long. (I think, oh, 90 per cent of alternative albums released today front-fill with the best songs followed by 10 minutes of stuff the band won’t bother to play live.)

No, Total Babes get it right on Heydays and have released one of the stronger albums of 2015.  The music is incredibly rich, and upon multiple listens, more diverse and complex than most releases in the multiple genres they weave in and out of.

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