Bellatrix + In Loving Memory
The Perth music scene has a new entrant on the heavier end of the spectrum, with the first two singles from the newly formed Babayaga showcasing a very interesting spin on the post-punk sound.
This is a very interesting hybrid of post-punk, classical, and folk, but is a little less surprising when considering the band’s roots. Its members are seasoned Perth musos, and three-fifths of them are from the classically tinged post-rock collective Selfless Orchestra, who have been killing it lately (see our review of their debut album and album launch here). With the Orchestra’s talent on violin, bass, piano and vocals, it’s not surprising that these two singles have elements of that group’s dramatic sound.
Bellatrix opens with a mournful violin figure soon joined by a chorus of voices. But before the Selfless Orchestra comparisons start flying a bassline enters the fray that distinguishes this more firmly on the “rock” side of the spectrum. Stabs of violin and interweaving vocal and violin melodies slowly building atop one another. Manic warbling vocals and off-kilter piano add an extra dimension in a track that finishes sounding like 70s psychedelic folk with a punk groove.
Meanwhile second single In Loving Memory recalls the post-punk of bands like Protomartyr. Its dry spoken-word vocals give way to walls of guitar sound which are then offset by bucolic bursts of violin. For a four-minute track it covers a lot of ground, cycling through a series of heavy riffs before ending on a Black Sabbath-esque dirge.
In just over eight minutes of music, Babayaga show there is plenty of depth to their sound. If future releases show this kind of breadth, we may be looking at the genesis of one of WA’s most interesting heavy bands.