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Redeux *

Album: Redeux *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Swamp Pussy
2)    He's My Thing
3)    Vomit Heart
4)    Dust Cake Boy
5)    Spit to See the Shine
6)    Catatonic
7)    Ripe
8)    Right Now
9)    Bruise Violet
10)    Bluebell
11)    Handsome and Gretel
12)    Pearl
13)    Won't Tell
14)    Spun
15)    Oh Yeah
16)    Drivin'
17)    Sweet '69
18)    Ariel
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Recording information: AMREP Studio, Minneapolls, MN, USA; Pachyderm Studio, Cannon Falls MN, USA; Reciprocal Studio, Seattle, WA, USA; Sorcerer Sound, New York, NY, USA; Southern Studios, London, England.
  • Photographers: Michael Lavine; Daniel Corrigan; Joe Dilworth.
  • Babes in Toyland rose to prominence in the late '80s and early '90s, the era of grunge, and as an all-female trio, they were often namechecked in think pieces on "Women in Rock" and the Riot Grrrl phenomenon. But Babes in Toyland didn't comfortably fit into any of those categories, and they didn't really sound like anyone else around at the time. Babes in Toyland were one of the most brutal and cathartic musical experiences of their time; their music spoke of rage and fury, and their music was as subtle and nuanced as a flamethrower, despite its street smarts. Kat Bjelland's vocals were a patchwork of wails and screams, the sound of someone eager to make you feel her pain, while her jagged guitar work was a buzzy tornado of amplified bad karma (though she was capable of artful dynamics when they were called for). Bassist Michelle Leon (later replaced by Maureen Herman) and drummer Lori Barbero were the perfect rhythm section to back up Bjelland, muscular and primal but with a sense of drama and the ability to amplify and complement the emotions of the songs. Very few bands as raw and musically confrontational rose to the major labels during the '90s alt-rock sweepstakes, and if Babes in Toyland never became stars, their impact was remarkable for a band as uncompromising as they were. Redeux is a Babes in Toyland "Greatest Hits" album, compiled by the members of the group and offering a representative sampling from their three studio albums (1990's Spanking Machine, 1992's Fontanelle, and 1995's Nemesisters) and the 1991 EP To Mother. The cuts from Spanking Machine and To Mother, released by the indie Twin/Tone label, sound straightforward and capture the group with strength and clarity. Babes in Toyland moved up to Reprise Records for Fontanelle and Nemesisters, and while the production is more full-bodied and detailed on these albums, the band sounds no less powerful for it. Redeux is a splendid summary of Babes in Toyland's recording career and an effective introduction to their catalog, and Michael Gaughan's cover art is offensive in a truly inspired and fitting manner. This music isn't pretty, but if you want to hear some of the most vividly alive rock & roll of the '80s and '90s, Redeux is well worth your time. ~ Mark Deming
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