Racetrack Babies
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Racetrack Babies

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The best kept secret in music

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Leave it to another country to truly understand the spirit of raw, punk-era rock and roll the way it used to be in the States. When the first wild, hungry, vocally distorted notes emerged from my speakers, my spine tingled and my ears perked up. Every cell in my body woke up. I wanted to slam a Bacardi and Coke strong enough to start my car, but it's 9am on a Sunday morning and I don't have Bacardi or Coke in my apartment. Note to self: stop by the liquor store before playing this CD again.

Racetrack Babies kick things off with the very suggestive "The Messenger." He's a messenger, and he's got a package for you. (Is it alcohol and cigarettes? Please say it's alcohol and cigarettes. I feel like turning my apartment into an underground punk bar.) Lou Reed would love this. So would Bowie.

As each new track started, more rock/punk heroes staggered into my apartment. The New York Dolls kicked in my door when the mysterious and ominous track "Racetrack Babies" began. The Ramones trashed the place when they heard the wild, jumping, impulsive and oh-so-Ramones entitled "Ultimate Bimbo."

My neighbors started to complain when I played my favorite track several times – it's "Unshined," and it features absolutely brutal guitar licks that violently and periodically interrupt a floating rock ballad. I sent Johnny Rotten over to the neighbor's place, and I haven't heard a peep from them since. Unfortunately, I also smell smoke and hear police sirens, so I'll just go barricade the door. If anyone asks, I've been in church all morning.

This is what rock and roll has desperately needed for years. I would beg Racetrack Babies to move here, but I don't want them to get tainted by whatever is dumbing down music in this country. So I mean this in the best possible way: Stay the hell over there in Denmark. And keep sending us music.

Leave it to another country to truly understand the spirit of raw, punk-era rock and roll the way it used to be in the States. When the first wild, hungry, vocally distorted notes emerged from my speakers, my spine tingled and my ears perked up. Every cell in my body woke up. I wanted to slam a Bacardi and Coke strong enough to start my car, but it's 9am on a Sunday morning and I don't have Bacardi or Coke in my apartment. Note to self: stop by the liquor store before playing this CD again.

Racetrack Babies kick things off with the very suggestive "The Messenger." He's a messenger, and he's got a package for you. (Is it alcohol and cigarettes? Please say it's alcohol and cigarettes. I feel like turning my apartment into an underground punk bar.) Lou Reed would love this. So would Bowie.

As each new track started, more rock/punk heroes staggered into my apartment. The New York Dolls kicked in my door when the mysterious and ominous track "Racetrack Babies" began. The Ramones trashed the place when they heard the wild, jumping, impulsive and oh-so-Ramones entitled "Ultimate Bimbo."

My neighbors started to complain when I played my favorite track several times – it's "Unshined," and it features absolutely brutal guitar licks that violently and periodically interrupt a floating rock ballad. I sent Johnny Rotten over to the neighbor's place, and I haven't heard a peep from them since. Unfortunately, I also smell smoke and hear police sirens, so I'll just go barricade the door. If anyone asks, I've been in church all morning.

This is what rock and roll has desperately needed for years. I would beg Racetrack Babies to move here, but I don't want them to get tainted by whatever is dumbing down music in this country. So I mean this in the best possible way: Stay the hell over there in Denmark. And keep sending us music. - www.indie.music.com


Racetrack Babies "Summer Salt Santiago" by P. Grabowski from www.ballbusterhardmusic.com.

I found this C.D. to be pretty good. The first song The Messenger is killer. Love the vocals and guitar. In fact the whole band is great! Racetrack Babies has a great beat. Summer Salt- is popish in parts. Great lyrics and guitar is awsome. The Storm has a great sound to it the kind that stays with you all day. The next C.D. gem Unshined starts out really heavy then goes mellow and back to heavy. The song Soul Snatch- reminds me of Bowie, very good lyrics. The vocalist should use this style more often.
- www.ballbusterhardmusic.om


It shouldn't take too long before these guys are releasing another album, because when they entered the studio to record this album they had 30 songs worth of material with them. "Summer Salt Santiago" features 10 of those songs - the ones that the band felt strongest about after having laid their final touch on them. I must admit that I don't really know all that much about this Danish rock band, other than that they played at the faroese G! Festival last year. I was at the festival, but I didn't get to hear Racetrack Babies - a band that I've heard good things about afterwards, but never any of their music. This, then, is a nice chance to get to hear what I've been missing out on. And I must say that it's likely that I have been missing out, because this is a quite good album and if their live-performance was anything like this, I would have liked it. Here they have me at the get-go with "The Messenger" - a feel-good rocker that is also the first single from this album (see review of the single elsewhere on this page). Then there's a song called "Racetrack Babies" which is a just as likeable indie-rock song, while "Ultimate Bimbo" is more of a up-tempo rock n' roll song. My favorite song on the album, "Unshined", is the coolest noise-pop/rock song I've heard in a while. Great start/stop ideas going on here with great, fragile vocals to make it perfect. Reminds me of Glorybox. Great. When they slow things down in other songs they even remind me of Sort Sol, which is also a plus in my book.
- Past and Present webzine


Summer Salt Santiago Review:
The road to an album is paved with hard work, doubt, and suffering. At least that is how many bands describe the process, and that is why it is such a relief to learn that Racetrack Babies just took 30 songs with them to the studio and quickly recorded the ten they felt the strongest for. The quartet did not do it to tell a different story, but to capture what they call the "magic of creating". To say that the album is magic might be going too far, but just like their previous album, "Summer Salt Santiago" uses a superior sense of melody and a confident use of the indie genre's noise, silence and weirdness. Add to that Hans Christian Wayne's talk-whine-stoned vocal, which in technical terms is nothing special, but here it makes very good sense. In a few places, the album is idle, but luckily it does not happen so often that the perception of the album is compromised. The perception of the album is sharp and strong - magic or no magic. - Gaffa - Jeppe Krogsgaard Christensen


RACETRACK BABIES

Don't get the idea that all Scandinavian recording artists ride the country range. Denmark's Racetrack Babies stir up excitement with their intense, but nuanced kind of indie rock. Each of the three songs on their page makes its own unique musical mark - Palo Alto Daily news


Recensione RACETRACK BABIES [Summer Salt Santiago - Musikministeriet 2006]
Messaggi dal nord


Una piccola isola felice. Questo sono i Racetrack Babies, danesi di Copenaghen, che mettono fuori la testa del terzo album in poco più di sette anni di attività. Un'isola felice in un paese da sempre legato ai dictat dello scan rock germogliato tra radici hard'n'roll e metal. Il precedente lavoro ("The End") era stato "curato" al missaggio dalla mano esperta di John Agnello (Buffalo Tom, Steve Wynn, Madrugada, Patti Smith, Dinosaur Jr., Mark Lanegan) un deciso marchio di fabbrica che serve oltretutto a capire di che cosa stiamo argomentando. Dieci tracce che sorprendono per perizia tecnica e giusto tasso di coinvolgimento. Il primo singolo "The Messenger" sembra uscito dalla penna di Tom Barman ma sono solo impressioni maniacali di un orecchio mai domo quanto esigente. Disco importante di un trio in costante equilibrio tra abrasioni alternative nineties (Pavement, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr.) e defrag liquidi provenienti da terre geograficamente più a nord. Una deviazione giustificata se volete dare fiducia ad una band apparentemente "fuori" dal giro ciclostilato britannico ma assolutamente "dentro" a quello delle emozioni più vere.


Emanuele Tamagnini - www.musicaroma.it


Saturday, December 09, 2006
Racetrack Babies

In 1993, a compilation disc was released by Dutch East India Trading titled Buy This Used Compact Disc. I consider it an interesting look into what was available underneath the unfortunate and selective discovery of alternative rock music by the mainstream media at the time. *Note: track #1 was not New Radiant Storm King on the original release... it was a completely different song by American Music Club. (I am holding my old beat up copy now but knew it anyway). Track #2 on this release features Sebadoh's Lou Barlow screaming "Just give me indie rock!" If you haven't heard this compilation CD I highly recommend looking for a copy on ebay or other such places. What does this have to do with today's featured artist you might ask? As soon as this song started, I was warmed into an overwhelming sense that this could be a lost track from the above mentioned CD had the band been in existence back then. It's also not difficult to hear the influence of later Dinosaur Jr. material in their music. The song structure and vocals in today's feature make this an obvious comparison, while some of the other selections are in moderate contrast to the early 90's sound. It continues to amaze me how many current rock outfits here in the states struggle with (or simply ignore) their alternative or indie rock heritage while bands overseas seem to get it right on a constant basis.

Racetrack Babies are a 4 piece rock band from Denmark comprised of members Hans Christian Wayne (vocals & guitar), Morten Søfting (drums), Søren Hansen (guitars) and Minh Le (bass.) The band's first demo was recorded in 1998 and, since that time, there have been 3 albums and a couple of singles added to the discography. The latest full length album Summer Salt Santiago was released a month ago, November 7th, through the Copenhagen-based Musikministeriet record label. There is also a Musikministeriet MySpace Page with more good music as well as the label's California branch/contact Claus on MySpace. The new CD is available through Interpunk for $9.75 USD and, from what I've heard myself, is really good. Your next stop should be the Racetrack Babies MySpace where you can listen to more music and add on as a friend. They also have a secondary myspace page as a result of the first one getting hacked at some point. The Racetrack Babies Website is a basic (non-flash thank god) information site where you will find a ton of pictures in the gallery and current band news. Finally, there is a YouTube video of a song titled The Storm from the brand new album Summer Salt Santiago. Enjoy...!!
- Milk Milk Lemonade


Tätä levyä kuunnellaan pienessä Kuplassa parin hyvän kaverin kanssa, aurinkoisena vapaapäivänä matkalla maaseudulle. Tai aamukuudelta, kun uni ei vieläkään tule, eikä aamuun ole vielä kiire. Tai… no jaa, ihan milloin tahansa, kun korvat tarvitsevat lomaa.
Tanskalaisorkka Racetrack Babies julkaisi debyyttilevynsä Love Sickin kotimaassaan viime vuoden alussa. Suomessa, Norjassa ja Ruotsissa levy julkaistiin tämän vuoden toukokuussa. Racetrack Babies jatkaa pohjoismaisten kitarapop-yhtyeiden marssia The Cardigansin ja The Arkin jalanjäljissä.

Love Sick on levy, joka ei jää äänimatoksi taustalle. Laulaja Christian Andersenin äänessä on androgyynistä ujellusta, joka parhaimmillaan ylittää Sueden Brett Andersonin viileät venytykset. Ärsyttäväksi Andersenin ääni ei käy missään vaiheessa, vaikka nousee yllättävänkin korkeallekin. Basisti Cecilie Ravik laulaa kauniita taustoja puhtaalla äänellään. Välillä mennään retkelle The Cranberriesin tyyliin du-du-duuilla.

Kappaleet vaihtelevat näppäristä kitarapaloista eteerisiin tunnelmointeihin. In The Morning tuo mieleen kaikki menetetyt rakkaudet, joihin hidas jazztrumpetti lisää bonushaikeutta. Levyn keskivaiheilla Blow It All Away ja God Bye tuovat levyn linjaan toivotun kouraisun raskailla kitaroillaan. Kappaleiden tuskainen menetyksen tunne sopii tunnelmaan.

Ravikin bassokuviot pääsevät oikeuksiinsa Cushionissa, jossa Andersenin tyylikkäitä äänijänteiden venytyksiä taustoitetaan vibrafonilla. Levy huipentuu mystiseen Sunsetiin, joka on saatekirjeen mukaan kirjoitettu Tampereella. Kyllä, on siinä sitä tehdaskaupungin mukanaan tuomaa savun tuoksua mukana.

Levy ei ehkä nouse maailman muistetuimpien klassikoiden joukkoon, mutta puolustaa kyllä paikkaansa. Kappaleet ovat kaiken kaikkiaan vastakohtien kiehtovaa puuroa, jossa välillä hiljennytään muistelemaan kipeitä muistoja ja välillä ilakoidaan kännykän soittoäänillä. Kuten levyn päättävä Wonderland-biisi kiteyttää: rakkauden kipeyshän tässä vaivaa.

- noise.fi {Finish}


Det er ikke just, fordi blandingen af støj og stilhed er nogen ny opfindelse. Men selvom tricket er lettere slidt, så fungerer det stadigvæk, hvilket Racetrack Babies er fuldt ud klar over. Og den lettere rekonstruerede trio – der består af Christian Andersen og Cecilie Ravik samt nyindtrådte Martin Bjerregaard fra hedengangne Psyched Up Janis – er bestemt i stand til at sammenføje tonstunge guitarmure med smægtende popsensibilitet, så det er værd at lytte til. Det suverænt bedste nummer er imidlertid Unprepared, som sagtens kunne sidde på en udgivelse fra Dinosaur Jr, der meget vel kan være et af bandets forbilleder. Særligt Andersens vokal minder om indie-dinosaurernes J. Mascis, og dét på godt og ondt. Den insisterende klynken og begrænsede tonemæssige spændvidde bliver dog løftet af Raviks fnuglette backingvokal, når det er ved at blive for meget. Racetrack Babies har i det hele taget ganske godt styr på deres virkemidler, og The End. fortjener i sandhed mere opmærksomhed end debuten fra 2002.
Af Jeppe Krogsgaard Christensen
- Gaffa {Danish}


Racetrack Babies - en tilforladelig køretur

De er godt klar over det, de har endda skrevet det i coveret. At det er at udfordre skæbnen lidt, når man døber album nummer to noget så überdramatisk som 'The End'. Men det er ikke uden grund: et hektisk kapitel er overstået i Racetrack Babies historie. En spændingsfyldt periode med konstant udskiftning i konstellationen (gruppen har haft hele 16 forskellige trommeslagere), uendelig strid med den etablerede del af branchen, politianmeldelser og faktisk også et regulært opbrud.

Nu er langt de fleste stridsøkser begravet, og to af de oprindelige medlemmer, Christian Andersen og Cecilie Ravik, gør nu op med den turbolente fortid. Med følelse og ubetinget ærlighed, men uden at ryste nogen grundvold synderligt.

Den tyste rock klemmer sig ned i førersædet fra start til slut, og med én hånd på rattet og én i håret er der lagt op til en tilforladelig køretur. En behagelig cruisen gennem mørke, såvel som lyse guitar-tromme-bas-landskaber, der i længden nok ville blive triviel hvis ikke det var for den lejlighedsvise indblanding fra det mere støjende bagsæde, hvor passagererne består af interessante skarnsunger som syntheziser, philicorda, piano og klokker. For man kan ikke komme uden om det: en stor del af den distance, der tilbagelægges gennem albummets 14 numre, synes ind i mellem at være lidt grå og tomgangspræget.

Men egentlig er der dramatik og underholdning nok at hente, især når man betragter det uforlignelige vokalspil mellem Andersen og Ravik. Førstnævntes vakkelvorne sang, der spænder fra det deciderede arrogante til det absolut hudafskrabende, er intet mindre end superb, og når der suppleres med kvindelig kølighed fra sidstnævnte, er det unægteligt svært ikke at lade sig rive med af de åbenlyse og stærke personligheder.

Hvis det kunne overføres til resten, ville det bare være... fjong.

- soundvenue.dk


Discography

The Storm, Single, 2006.

Summer Salt Santiago, Album Denmark & U.S.A. 2006

The Messenger, Single, 2006

The End., Album, Denmark 2005

Christmastime & all, Radio Demo-Promotion Single, Skandinavia 2002

Love Sick, Album, Denmark 2002, Skandinavia 2003

Hva' tror du selv?, Single, Denmark 2000

QED., Demo, 1998

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Likes organised noise, power, dynamics, good sticky melodies, playing live, creating records, hearing themselves in mainstream and upstream radio, happy songs even though they are difficult to write and sad songs especially or mostly on Sundays and after emptying an immense amount of bottles and frequently or loosing love, metal when angry or stressed, meeting new friendly people, travelling, our family & friends, kissing and making up and love, eating & celebrating life and death, hearing bands inspired by us, evolving, good sounding records. Thinking about what is the best thing to do and not making too many decisions too fast, cause decisions are so conclusive. Honesty. Music. Final cuts, first takes & a good health!