May 11, 2013

"High Heel Leather Boots," by Baby Bee

I would love to say that I have a clever witticism for incorporating high heel leather boots into a personal anecdote, but I can't think of anything that wouldn't end as extremely graphic. Alas, somethings are just not meant to be. But my semester is wrapping up here quickly, I've thoroughly enjoyed this little foray into music critiquing. I fancy I may continue reviewing singles over the summer, so stick around.

This past week's single is a rocking single that comes to us from the swamps of Louisiana. Joe and David Stark formed their gritty family band, Baby Bee, in 2011, and are gearing up for the release of their first full length album later this year. To bide the time, they've produced an EP - The Shaker - to accrue a name on iTunes. They had a recent boost in popularity when one of their songs, "Love Bug," was featured on AMC's hit series, The Walking Dead. Their wailin' rock songs are infused with a distinct southern beat that would make any of their songs a pleasant fit in the zombie-infested American South. This week's single, "High Heel Leather Boots," is a great example of the style that the Stark brothers bring to their music.

The drums enter and set the tone for this boogie right off the bat. There are subtle influences of 50s birthed rock n' roll influences that are really nice in this track. The distorted vocals are a really cool new age effect that replace the sound of an electric guitar melody and make this southern rock song a little more modern. Joe Stark is at the microphone, leading vocals, and though I can't say that he has a refined singing voice, he has got power and passion, and the right kind of tone to carry a rock song like this. The lyrics are short and sweet, and aren't the important part of this song. The Starks just want to make you move, so they don't bother with fancy bridges or harmonies, nor works of lyrical genius. You're either listening to Joe singing the verse, the grinding electric guitar or the Beach Boys style descending guitar riff throughout the track.

In this song, and in fact in their whole act, they don't really adhere to the suggestion that variety is the spice of life. The three other songs on The Shaker EP are more of the same. All their songs are characterized by a driving, up-tempo drumbeat to get you moving, gritty, southern-sounding electric guitar chords with an occasional solo, and a little falsetto hook for you to sing along with. It's all very "one trick pony," but at least they do the trick well. So is this track or this EP very exciting? Nah, not really, but it is cheap. Just over two bucks will buy you the three remaining tracks from The Shaker, and they're equally good southern rock jams by Baby Bee. I wouldn't call myself a fan, but I will look forward to their album release, and see if they make a splash with a little more variety this summer. Until then, I give "High Heel Leather Boots" a very middle-of-the-road...

3.5 out of 5

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