Live In Your Face

Babylon A.D.

Apocalypse Records, 1999

http://www.facebook.com/Babylonadband‎

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/18/1999

When I received Live In Your Face, the latest release from Oakland hard rockers Babylon A.D., the first question I asked is, "Why should anyone care?" After all, this was a band who had only one major hit, thanks to the inclusion of "The Kid Goes Wild" in the movie Robocop II.

Don't blame me for being skeptical. With the recent revival of the hard rock/heavy metal genre, bands we had forgotten about for years are starting to crawl out from the woodwork - some of whom should have stayed there. So I tend to look upon any '80s metal band who return to this period of the genre with a questioning eye.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Turns out that while Live In Your Face is by no means a groundbreaking album, it is entertaining, and should provide the hard rock fan in your house with an evening of enjoyment. (If, of course, said person was into Babylon A.D., they'll enjoy this one thoroughly.)

Taken from concerts around the U.S., the band - singer Derek Davis, guitarist Danny DeLaRosa, guitarist/vocalist Ron Freschi, bassist/vocalist Robb Reid and drummer Jamey Pacheco - plow through ten of their own songs and two covers as if they were still riding the crest of their popularity. For that, you have to hand it to the band; they give 110 percent throughout this disc.

Live In Your Face mixes the all-out nut-rockers ("The Kid Goes Wild", "Bang Go The Bells", "Hammer Swings Down") with some more introspective works ("So Savage The Heart", "Desperate") and make it all sound pretty good. The ballads might scare some of the diehard headbangers away, but Babylon A.D. show they have guts to play an acoustic-based song in the midst of all the testosterone.

I know that Babylon A.D. has never been a band for harmony vocals, but hearing some on even one or two of these songs would have really helped out the overall sound. I don't doubt that the band is capable of handling harmonies; I just wonder why they don't utilize them.

And a word of advice for Davis: If you don't know the words to a cover song, don't sing it. Babylon A.D. plows through AC/DC's "Girls Got Rhythm" like a fly smacking a windshield on a highway. Davis blows a good portion of the second verse - though maybe only the diehard AC/DC fans like myself would catch that. Their cover of Aerosmith's "Rats In The Cellar" is much better, and is a lot of fun.

So getting back to the original question: Why should anybody care about Babylon A.D. and Live In Your Face? Simple: it's an album that is fun to listen to, even if they're not the most creative band in the genre. This one might not make them stars again, but it's proof enough that the band is alive and kicking.

Rating: B-

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Apocalypse Records, and is used for informational purposes only.