We’ve had plenty of time to get familiar with the Amazing Baby single “Headdress” since it was one of the four songs the Brooklyn band released as the free download EP Infinite Fucking Cross a little less than a year ago, around the time frontman Will Roan let us into his apartment. But despite Amazing Baby’s well-documented affiliation with MGMT and their insistence on moony, psychedelic aesthetics–the only thing surprising about their new Rewild album cover is that it doesn’t come with a blacklight–“Headdress” still sounds to us less like a hippie incantation for Union Pool headbanders and more like like sheeny Anglophile pop. Pulp stripped of Jarvis’s wit. Neo-psych Pulp, if you will? Aurally speaking, this isn’t a bad thing–New York has shamelessly co-opted everything from the Bee Gees to Paul Simon to Joy Division, so why shouldn’t we get a humorless Pulp?
The problem comes only with the promotional visual accompaniments–specifically the second of two videos for “Headdress.” If you had to walk into a pitch meeting with this one, it’d be something like, “a straight-man’s Ryan McGinley shoot.” Which means Amazing Baby rocking out effortlessly in the woods, something nearby smoking–could be the Fourth of July fire on Wythe and North 9th–naked body-painted girls cavorting pointlessly, a young pre-pubescent girl dangling white mice over her head, and some sort of pale-faced, caped booby witch. The band’s lit by flashlights, they saunter into an empty house, flip through old photo albums, frontman Will Roan shows off his now-longer locks. There is also a llama, which the Dirty Projectors trotted out last week in “Stillness on the Move.” Who will be the third Brooklyn band with a llama video so we can officially call this a trend?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2009