Three Hands (label)
06 March 2020 (released)
07 April 2020
In every significant period and genre of music, there are always artists or bands who, despite releasing high-quality records and touring until they (or their van) fall apart, fail to get the recognition they deserve. Baby Chaos are a case in point; a Glaswegian quintet whose first two albums proved them worthy of inclusion on any self-respecting 'Best of Britrock' compilation, yet who never enjoyed the success or attention afforded to mid-90s peers (and sometimes tour buddies) like The Wildhearts, Terrorvision, Skunk Anansie and Reef.
'Ape Confronts Cosmos' is the follow up to 2015's superbly-named 'Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Money', and the second album they've released since reuniting almost a decade ago. Whatever's fuelling them, we want some. The staccato riff of the opening 'Out Of The Blue' is like aural caffeine, and lead single 'Run Towards The Roar' is nearly three minutes of the kind of punchy pop-rock that the Foo Fighters used to write in their prime.
The band are probably sick of the Muse comparisons by now, but vocalist Chris Gordon frequently sounds uncannily like Matt Bellamy - listen to 'You Won, You Won', and you'd be hard pressed to disagree. On the whole, though, his band aren't quite as given to musical histrionics as the all-conquering Teignmouth trio. 'The Wild Beast' shows them at their most direct; with an acoustic intro that explodes brilliantly into the kind of heads-down, riff-laden groove of which any southern/'stoner' rock band would be proud.
'Ape Confronts Cosmos' isn't all high-octane thrills, though, and its quieter moments rank amongst the most impressive. On the likes of 'I Belong In Battle' and 'The White Witch', Gordon is accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar and violin or cello, somehow creating an almost cinematic effect whilst retaining a sense of intimacy.
Barring the occasional dip in quality towards the end, this is a typically addictive and diverse album from a band that has always kept us guessing - even if they haven't always received due credit for doing so.