Review: The Caring Babies - "Gold Friends"

Caring Babies - Gold Friends
(2012 Robot Octopus Vs. Zombie Teddybear)
Twee synth-pop with a charmingly strange delivery.

There's only one thing better than a glow-in-the-dark record, and that's a glow-in-the-dark record wrapped in a coloring book. You'd expect the combination of luminescent vinyl and blank cover art to be an indie-pop industry standard by now but, sadly, the only band to employ each in a physical music release is Vermont's The Caring Babies. Recently awarded the "Weird Band of the Week" award by the music blog Weirdest Band In the World, the duo is made up of singer/songwriter Matt Mazur and his puppet/doll friend named Redgei. If you think that sounds like the premise of one of those new psychedelic cartoons they make for toddlers, then you have a good idea of what sort of music The Caring Babies offer on Gold Friends: upbeat twee jams that sound like Belle and Sebastian guest starring on Yo Gabba Gabba. (Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that actually happened) 

Despite the band's quirky demeanor, the four songs on this record are genuinely enjoyable, each built around jazzy keyboards and drum machines. Mazur's vocals add a human element to the largely electronic sound, a sort of yawned delivery that would feel at home among others featured in the Sarah Records discography. Each track has an overwhelmingly cozy vibe, and it might take a few listens to fully notice the subtle lyrical wit hidden by The Caring Babies' unique sound. Though the shortest of the four tunes at just under fifty seconds, "Rock a de Rock" is, musically, the choice cut of the 7" single, ending in a surprisingly Blank Dogs-ian guitar assault. It's a brief moment of post-punk ecstasy that ends far too quickly. Though not quite an artistic triumph, Gold Friends is sure to be a fun addition to your record collection. Buy it here: http://rovsztbrecords.blogspot.com/ (Note the actual record cover is not colored in like in the picture above)