Published on February 27th, 2014 | by Joe-Lou0
Bot’Ox: Babylon By Car
It‘s only been a few weeks since my girlfriend first introduced me to Bot’Ox. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with their album Babylon by Car. I’m still nowhere near done peeling back all of it’s layers, but that wont stop me from gushing about it.
Babylon by Car is an album that will make you drive fast and push your seat back a bit. It’s a lot of instrumental fun with a bit too much mood to talk over. Each track is steady dark and thumping. Bot’Ox uses a clean pallet that blends electronic and trance effects over a traditional rock set-up. The result is smooth, precise and crisp. Most jams have you bobbing your head as things creep louder and louder with a few house-style breaks here and there. Everything in this album flows at a steady pace and it doesn’t really start taking risks until about the half way through. Thats when things start to loose their cool and feel a bit frantic or anxious. This slow transition creates a great focus for the 52 minutes.
The best introduction I can give might be the super catchy track Blue Steel. Chiptune hits layered over a bouncy triangle type bass keep things moving as the vocals draw out relaxed melodies. This is one of only two songs in this album that have singing but it works perfectly. My only complaint would be that there aren’t more tunes featuring Anna Jean. Seriously, this girl is phenomenal.
The Title Track Babylon by car is deceptively complex. What may sound minimalist first actually has a ridiculously high number of instruments, patches and percussion thats going through all kinds of effects (I’m convinced I hear a lot of KORG KaossPad3). Most tracks has live drums layered underneath the electronics in some way, with warm rolls announcing each new part. Bot’Ox feels electronic but never cold.
“Your bored, drunk and your fly is open. Everything you own is expensive and broken.”
The climax of the album has to be the eerie build throughout Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse (feat. Judy Nylon). It’s a heavy stack of synths with a thumping bass that’s repetitive enough to grind through just about any cranium. All the while, Judy Nylon lectures the listener or our protagonist through their depressive mid-life crisis. “Your liver is shot, what more can I say? Your whole fuck’in world is like a moral passé.” With each thud getting louder and louder, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that drunk and exhausted feeling I felt in between rounds of Hotline Miami. This song is sweltering hot, moody pressure at it’s best. If you really commit to it’s inner monologue, this track will crush your spirits the same way you might expect from a doom track and it will only take you about half as much time.
So if you need something steady that can work while multi-tasking ( or hold it’s own alone), I really can’t recommend this album enough. It will move you at a quick pace and drop you off in a horde of your own demons. Just be warned: bubbly and happy-go-lucky types may not last the whole ride.