Poor Baby

Awh, “poor baby!” Is this a term of endearment? Or perhaps related to that of an infant's fiscal year? In either case the phrase protrudes condolences from a passerby-er or a creepy auntie. But should we really feel bad for the baby? For instance, Poor Baby, a garage rock octonary hailing from Vancouver, rocks the cradle like an earthquake blasting through the Earth's lithosphere. They shatter this notation of the ‘poor baby’ with catchy tunes and heavy post punk head jerkers. How could you possible feel bad for the talented, malleable young human?

Poor Baby’s antenatal stage was like that of many music groups, try to have your little fingers in as many honey pots as possible. With projects on the run such as The WPP, Parallels, Crusties, Neverland, (I’m sure the list goes on)  the group describes its beginnings as a by-product of their previous projects. With eight members, Poor Baby is pretty much an orchestra of wild post punk fun. Two drummers, two guitarists, bass, keys and primary vocals, their sound is an octahedron of talent, allowing them to explore and touch on layers of ska punk and psych rock. Poor Baby flexes their creativity with their song ‘Slow Burner’, exercising the use of delay effects and tempo shifts to pull together an expansive psych garage ballad. And check out their tune ‘This New Thing’ and I think your going to see some similarities with alternative rock groups from the 90’s. Think Smash Mouth’s album Fush Yu Mang. Squirt a little of today’s punk milk on there and you've got the sauce for the baby, baby.

I always love to see a group with a dedicated vocalist, especially when they are as engaged as Ryan Wagner. His voice, raspy and poignant, crawls up your legs and holds on to you like a marsupial. Live, his movements are rowdy and rambunctious, fully engaged in the moment.  He admonishes us that you don’t have to have a guitar to swing around your neck to be noticed. You still have two hands to slap yourself in the face, and a solid set of vocal chords to widen gawker eyes.

Double the drummer, double the color! Poor Baby’s double drummer set up gives them a huge boost in the percussive range, allowing for that sonic exploration but also the ability to lay it down all heavy-like on songs that need to be felt in the chest.

I don’t feel bad for Poor Baby, in fact, I’m a bit jealous. Organizing an eight piece takes some serious patience and a real connect with your mates.  I’m excited to see Poor Baby grow into whatever they want to be! Or just stay the way they are!

You can find Poor Baby’s music on their Bandcamp page, or give them a search on Spotify. And remember, supporting your local artists is easy! Even just a ‘like’ or a friendly comment on their page can go a long way!

Emily Sutherland