From Demos To Demons 1989-1992
Released: 2002, Powerline Records/GMR
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
This is small box with two cd’s with the first stuff they did before they became Backyard Babies for real. The box includes the early demos that later made it on their debut album DIESEL & POWER from ‘94. The band has also written some funny liner-notes about the songs in the booklet.
On the first cd there’s a bunch of songs that they did under the name Tyrant, the name they had before they called themselves Backyard Babies. The present singer Nicke was not in the band then, back then the singer was Tobias Fischer and Johan (now on bass) played guitar. The first songs are taken from ‘89 and that songs are also the earliest material on the box and that sounds a bit disorientated like they aren’t sure in what musical direction they should go in. Tobias is not a good singer at all. Both lyrics and music aren’t so strong either. All of the songs on cd1 were recorded in Tyrants rehearsal place and the production is pretty lame. The first real recording they did in a real studio was “Downtown” that came in ‘90. Nicke had then joined the band as bassplayer, Tobias still sang and Johan still played the guitar and they were still called Tyrant. “Downtown” became a local hit in their hometown Nässjö, Sweden.
Backyard plays glam/sleaze/hardrock/garage rock ‘roll. Through the years their sound has improved a lot and they have worked a lot with songs, arrangements, Nickes vocals, the production, Nicke/Dregens guitar twin guitar play and they have also found their own personal sound. Some other songs from ‘90 are “Bad Boys”, “Firing Guns”, and “Kicking Up Dust”. It was also in ‘90 they kicked out Tobias Fischer because of musical differences, they didn’t like they same music anymore and Nicke took over the vocals, and then it all sounded much, much better. It was after a trip to Stockholm the band decided to change their band name to Backyard Babies. They also decided to work harder on the music and to achieve success. There are two more songs from ‘90 they are “All Too Much” and “Lies”. You can hear their influences clearly on these songs, their influences are Hanoi Rocks, Guns n´Roses, The Ramones, The Stooges, Faster Pussycat, Dogs D´amour and Entombed. That was all about CD 1 that covers the bands first stumbling steps to where the band is today.
Now to CD 2, the first recording with Johan on bass and this is also the bands first real recording that came out in ‘91 called “Something To Swallow” as a vinyl 12 inch 1000 limited ed. that they paid and was released by themselves. CD 2 is concentrated on the years ‘91-‘92. Mostly of the demos on this box was later featured on the debut album DIESEL & POWER but in this box there are a lot of alternative versions of the songs and they sound not quite as it did on the debut. 9 songs are from ‘91, “Strange Kind Of Attitude”, “Should I Be Damned”, “Love”, “Wild Dog”, “Heaven And Hell” and the title-track “Diesel & Power” was also later featured on the debut. In the glam/sleaze track “Juicy Lucy” Peder plays the harmonica and it sounds a lot like Hanoi Rocks. “Like a child” Nicke impresses a lot here, it’s a ballad like song and an incredibly slow one too. “Gods Favourite” glam/sleaze hard rock with a very friendly sing a long chorus. On disc 2 on this box Dregen has more space in the soundpicture than on the other disc. “Bite And Chew” and “Dogtown” also very glam/sleaze rock tracks, this could be songs by Faster Pussycat. The last song from ‘91 is “Lies”. An acoustic ballad with Nicke high up in the soundpicture with some girls on back up vocals, this song ended up as a b-side on the single “Electric Suzy” from -94. “S.T.M.M.F#6” with this song they got their first record deal with Megarock Records in Stockholm, this track is also the intro to the next song “Bad To The Bone”. “Bad To The Bone” was also the first track they did a video to and it also made it to the debut. “Lonely X-mas” an up-tempo ballad with female backing vox, by the name of the song you can figure out that it’s a Christmas song. Last out on this box is “Electric Suzy”, it also made it on the debut. According to the band “Diesel & Power” is their heaviest song they made, that is not my opinion, I think that “Electric Suzy” is the hardest, heaviest, glam/sleaze hardrock, rock track they’ve done on this box and it’s a big personal favourite track.
If you’re a fan of Backyard Babies this box is an absolutely MUST in you’re record collection. But it can also be a lot of fun for the new fans to hear the original Backyard and how they sounded before they got their big break. It’s a very good looking box with a lot of pictures and as an extra bonus there are some bonus videos “Gods Favourite” and “Bad To The Bone” for the computer. In a wait for the band to follow up their last album MAKING ENEMIES IS GOOD this is a good substitute with a lot of unreleased material to listen to.