Artist: "Babes In Toyland"
Album: "Fontanelle"
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Reprise

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 2/3/2009

Review: I'm sure it sounds silly, but I first got into this band when watching an episode of Beavis & Butt-head back when they were still on MTV. As many of you probably recall, between the animated portions of the show, Beavis & Butt-head would watch music videos and provide commentary for them. This was always my absolute favorite part of the show. One night, they were playing music videos and Babes In Toyland's video for "Bruise Violet" came on and I was instantly hooked.

Being a band of girls, Babes In Toyland were quickly mislabeled as a "riot grrl" act, but that's not the case. There was a lot more to BiT, but they were often lumped together with the likes of Courtney Love (somebody whom I've never considered to be talented in the slightest), and that's a damn shame.

First and foremost, their lead singer Kat Bjelland is one of the greatest female vocalists you'll ever hear. And I don't mean she has a voice like Whitney Houston or something... we're talking about a girl with raw, aggressive power like you've never heard. The only way to describe her vocals is to say that over the course of a single song, she can sound sullen, drunk, enraged, comical and downright insane. So yeah, she may not have a beautiful voice by standard conventions, but she's got a range 'n style that's all her own and I've always loved it.

The other great thing about the band is that their sounds are completely in your face. I still find myself laughing when I listen to tracks like "Handsome and Gretel" as Bjelland shouts that hilarious little chorus. Their songs weren't overly simplistic either; Kat Bjelland, Lori Barbero and Maureen Herman were all capable musicians and it shows in their wide range of songs. They definitely had a uniquely dark, thick sound going for themselves, but it was still catchy as hell. To put it succinctly: they rocked. I really wish they were still together, but all good things must come to an end, and at least they bowed out before they were past their prime.

So yeah, if you've never heard of them, "Fontanelle" is easily my favorite Babes In Toyland album and I can't recommend it enough to any fan of hard rockin' ladies.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

The face of trapped wind.
Feb 4th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I wanna say Courtney Love was in Babes for a breif stint back when she lived in Minneapolis. But then again I read that in an issue in Circus and in the same little bit it said she was in Faith No More also so it could all be nothing but bullhonkey. Moral of the story, Babes In Toyland was a great band from the frozen nugget of rock that is Minnesota. Them, The Replacements, and the state treasure Lipps Inc.
Pickled Patriarch
Feb 4th, 2009, 02:52 PM
Love was in a band with Bjelland before Babes In Toyland I believe, and I've read plenty suggesting that she stole Bjelland's "look" (the whole torn white dress thing)... but Love was never in BiT as far as I know.
Feb 4th, 2009, 03:44 PM
I don't find sympathy for Courtney Love at all.

As for the band, it seems to be a pretty decent pack of rocking girls. I might give the album a try.
Feb 4th, 2009, 09:30 PM
PoGo, What about Husker Du, can't dismiss them as a wonderful band of minnesota fame.
Fookin' up planets!
Feb 5th, 2009, 11:47 AM
F' all that it's all about Green Jello (Jelly).
(A small factoid: Did you know on their Hit song "The Three Little Pigs" that the person singing the chorus... "Not by the hair of my Chini Chin Chin" was none other than Tools frontman Maynard James Keenan? He was a founding member.)

But seriously now, Babes in Toyland not only awesome but Kat was damn sexy. One of my other favorite 80-90's favorites was Sonic Youth, and Kat was utterly adorable in their "Bull in the heather" video.. Youtube it now and feel the cuteness of Kat.