Backyard Babies – Shovin’ Rocks (Century Media Records)

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Along the M4 corridor, from Swansea to Newport, and up into the Valleys, it’s fair to say there’s a small, dedicated bunch of us South Walians who have followed Backyard Babies closely. And here’s the thing (there’s always a thing). As soon as a new single drops ahead of an album we all have the same conservation; will we get another Total 13? In 1998, when that sleaze punk opus landed, it soundtracked my life perfectly with the drink and the drugs. Christ, it still makes my Top 10 albums list to this very day. Maybe it’s time for us moaning old rockers to stop dreaming and accept that the prospect of Total 13 Mach II is unlikely.

The big, more mainstream, rock sound has served Backyard Babies well. Whilst some of us are still in the gutter, these Swedes reached for the stars with solid, more stadium friendly anthems. Shovin’ Rocks is testament to the more polished career move and given the disappointment of lead single Th1rt3en or Nothing from the last album Four by Four, this hits the spot a lot more with a straight-up rock ‘n’ roll feel. Nicke and Dregen share the vocal duties, hopping back and forth; bouncing off one another. The track could easily sit on an album from the rebirth of Michael Monroe’s career. Some may argue it’s lyrically lazy, but sometimes shouting “ROCK AND ROLL” is all you need to get by. It’s fun, party stuff, and one thing’s for sure, I’ve had the chorus hook stuck in my head all day so that’s gotta say something. Oh, and they’ve been at this game for 30 years with the same line-up and that’s no mean feat.

Shovin’ Rocks is available digitally and as a limited edition 12” maxi single. Cue that baited breath once more for early 2019 when new album Silver and Gold is due for release. Please be good! Please be good! Please be good! Ginge Knievil

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