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Crossover Prog • United Kingdom

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Babal biography
A UK-based rock combo BABAL have haunted upon stage in 2012 (firstly under the moniker of BABBLE) by Karen LANLEY (voices), Rob WILLIAMS (guitars, synthesizers), and Jon SHARP (drums), all of whom inspired specifically by Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix or Patti Smith, for discharging psychedelic / art rock. They signed a contract with an independent prog label Melodic Revolution Records and released their fourth album "The Circle Of Confusion Of Tongues" in 2018.

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The Circle of Confusion of TonguesThe Circle of Confusion of Tongues
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BABAL discography

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BABAL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
The Circle of Confusion of Tongues

BABAL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BABAL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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BABAL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
The Glacier
2.95 | 2 ratings
The Big Everything

BABAL Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Circle of Confusion of Tongues by BABAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.00 | 1 ratings

The Circle of Confusion of Tongues
Babal Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is the fourth album by UK art rock/psych/prog outfit Babal. The band is based around the core of singer Karen Langley and Rob Williams (guitars), with Jon Sharp (drums), Zoie Green (keyboards) and Ben Balsom (bass), and to be honest, I don't like it very much at all. But, I can appreciate it, and that's a difference. While I can't see myself ever playing this for pleasure, I can totally understand why a great many will be fascinated by this weird amalgam of Frank Zappa, Bill Nelson and Talking Heads (plus lots more). I've never understood the fascination with David Byrne, but as soon as I started listening to this I was reminded immediately of him, and would have been surprised if I hadn't come across him in relation to these guys, and wasn't disappointed.

There are musical layers upon layers, complex, often staccato and disjointed, all coming together in a strange mix where the drums are too far to the front. That is my only complaint on what is generally very strong production indeed, so that is an obvious choice as opposed to any failing. This really isn't my style of music though, but for anyone who is intrigued by the idea of David Byrne being involved with Zappa (in particular) then I do urge you to seek this one out, even though it is not for me. It has been released by Melodic Revolution Records on vinyl as well as CD and digitally

 The Big Everything by BABAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2019
2.95 | 2 ratings

The Big Everything
Babal Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Originally known as "Babble", this band from the UK changed their name to "Babal" in 2012. They are a Crossover Prog band and have released 1 full length album in 2018, and 2 EPs, one in 2018 and one in April of 2019. The latter EP is known as "The Big Everything" and is comprised of 2 tracks that have a total run time of 28 minutes. The core line up has consisted of Karen Langley on vocals; Rob Williams on guitars and sythesizers; and Jon Sharp on drums. There are also some guest musicians on this EP, namely Paul Smith on bass on the first track, Zoie Green on keyboards on the 2nd track, and Ben Balsom on bass on the 2nd track. Karen and Rob also write the lyrics and music.

The first track is the title song for the album "The Big Everything" which is a 19 minute epic track. Chiming guitars and shimmering effects bring in the unique vocals, which are quite enticing. The lyrics are definitely not your standard rhyming lyrics and have some really great phrasing. They also don't follow any standard melody structure either, making them sound more poetic. During the vocal breaks, synth and guitar continue to give a somewhat psychedelic sound, and even utilizes a trance-like quality, yet the music doesn't hide behind a haze like most psychedelic music. Vocals are clear and easy to understand. Vocals are spread out evenly throughout the song, yet there is still time left to have instrumental sections also. The vocals also range from a chant-like style to melodic, but never following any real thematic structure, and sometimes both styles are layered together. The music flows with the same rhythm and tempo through the entire track, which lends itself even more towards the psychedelic/space rock style. There are textural changes in the different instrumental breaks (and even within the vocals) however, so over it's long play time, at least it strives to not become stagnant. Wordless vocals towards the last section of the track treat the voice as an improvising instrument.

"Beggars to Chance" is the 2nd track and is almost 9 minutes long. A faster drum beat bring in the soft guitar notes and synth effects as a nice groove is established. After a while, the guitar intensifies and continues to improvise. Vocals come in after 2 minutes. There are some interesting dissonant harmonies that go on here that keep things interesting. Later, some nice keyboards are added to soften things up a bit as the non-standard lyrical and thematic sounds continue. As before, the rhythm remains constant, while the vocals and improvisation parts bring about changes in style, tone and texture. Around 6 minutes, the rhythm drops out as the music and vocals carry the rest of the track to the end.

This is definitely an interesting sound, the lyrics and vocals are poetic, the rhythm constant in most cases and everything else responsible for bringing about variety through both of the long tracks. This is music that grows on you, that can have an effect on you like trance music, but still ever changing to keep you interested. I'm not sure if a full-length album would have made this a stronger release, but as it is, the biggest drawback is the shortness of it all. At least it intrigues me and makes me want to explore some of their other releases. This could almost be a 4 star release, but it just misses that mark.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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