INTERVIEW: Baby Strange on their new EP, Land of Nothing
Since kicking off their new era with the ferocious alt-rock single More! More! More! late last year, we've been keeping a keen eye on Glasgow trio Baby Strange. In January, we brought you future dancefloor filler Club Sabbath, accompanied by the announcement of the band's new EP, Land of Nothing. Now the wait is over and we finally have our hands on the complete EP - and, fuck, is it a good one.
Following up from 2016's debut album, Want It Need It, the road to Land of Nothing kickstarted last October with EP opener More! More! More!, which drives us headfirst into a frenzy of screeching guitars and post-punk influenced deadpan vocals, curtesy of guitarist and vocalist Johnny Madden. The track is infectious with Madden's repetition of the sarcasm-soaked "Now that's what I call music" line eating away at our brains in the best way possible.
Brothers Connaire (drums) and Aidan McCann (bass) deliver thumping beats and scuzzy basslines on latest single I Want To Believe - and no, this one's not a reference to The X-Files. According to Madden, the song "is about wanting to be accepted by god but feeling you’re sinning too much in life to be fully accepted. It’s about paranoia and the need for redemption, as without redemption you have no validation."
Fiery There's Something There brings explosive punk energy with its spiky riffs, surging cacophonous chorus, and urgent, gritty vocals. Pit-ready anthem Club Sabbath, which you already know is a Coven fave, is all fervent drums and distorted vocals. Despite spinning this one on repeat for months now, it still feels as fresh as it did at the start of the year.
Closing off Land of Nothing is vibrant Over n Over - an ode to the sesh. "Everyone back to mine / Let's do it one more time," beckons Madden on the monstrous chorus, complete with angular guitars and thundering drums, and it's definitely a tempting invite if the tunes go as hard as this lot. No second is wasted on the EP, lashing out savage charm non-stop. At just over 15 minutes, Land of Nothing is a five-track full-throttle trashing of punk ferocity, bursting with an untameable bite and slick wit, and it places Baby Strange as one of the most captivating bands in the UK punk-rock scene.
In addition to the new EP, we're bringing you all the deets from the band themselves:
Hey Baby Strange, thanks for talking to us! How are you all?
Good thanks! We’re really buzzed about our new EP being out.
You wrote the majority of the new EP in lockdown - do you think this was more a hindrance for you, or that it gave you more creative freedom?
It was definitely a learning curve. Usually we’d go into the studio and bash out ideas, this was different but we were lucky to go and live in a house together for a week when we came back from singing our deal in Stockholm. That was a lot of fun as living together was something we’d never really experienced.
How do you think the new EP differs from your first album, Want It Need It?
It has some similar energy but the new EP is way more in your face and direct. It’s definitely a step forward from our debut.
Club Sabbath was of course named after your own club night, and it really reminded us of the importance of supporting small grassroot venues who have struggled over this year. Are you hoping to start that up again soon, when you're allowed?
As soon as we get the green light, it’s on. We’ve missed doing Sabbath. It’s always such a great atmosphere, like minded people all discovering new music. Hopefully it’ll be back this year!
Which new song are you all most excited to play live later this year?
There’s Something There is a lot of fun to play. We’ve been playing it in the studio and it sounds great. I think playing More! More! More! live will be nuts. People really love that song.
Any good local Glasgow bands that you think we should be listening to?
Thanks so much for speaking to us!
Cheers for having us!
Review and interview by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Daniel Blake