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If you’re a fan of Amanda Palmer but don’t want to give her any more of your hard earned money which she already has too much of then Stolen Babies is the answers to your prayers. True dark cabaret, Stolen Babies mixes Palmer with far more superior bands like Dog Fashion Disco and Oingo Boingo (especially the later Elfman orchestral element) to create this madcap sound that’s unrivaled and a genre all its own. On Naught, their long overdue follow-up to debut There Be Squabbles Ahead, the Babies take everything a step further.

Beginning with the DFD-esque “Never Come Back”, Dominique Lenore Persi immediately draws comparisons to the late great Natasha Shneider of Eleven/QOTSA when she opens her mouth. However, I don’t think Shneider had a hiss quite as vicious as Persi. “Splatter” packs all sorts of punch as drummer Gil Sharone bashes away and Persi introduces her macabre accordion playing to the mix. The Babies really hit their stride when they add the instrumental layers on as is the case on “Second Sleep” with its’ “The ship is sinking” chorus that complements the feeling of being on a rocking boat thanks to the band. Seriously, it’s brilliantly executed.

“Mousefood” and “Don’t Know” show off Gil Sharone’s fantastic bass playing, the latter song being one of the stand out’s of Naught. “I Woke Up” gives the feeling of being in a slasher flick (Think Hellraiser or Texas Chainsaw Massacre) while “Swimming Hole” changes everything completely and could easily be a lullaby (You might want to change the lyrics before singing to your little one though).

Throughout Naught, Stolen Babies create new twists and turns and basically reinvent the wheel when it comes to the dark underbelly of twisted rock and roll. While not exactly a comeback, Naught is definitely a welcome return and hopefully a promise that the next SB album won’t be so far off.

Naught is available digitally now with a physical release to follow on October 16th.

Grade: A

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