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Barbara Ann | Ode to My Freaks | review | punk | Lollipop
Ode to My Freaks
by Scott Hefflon
Barbara Ann is a scrumptious model. She's also a pretty bad-ass punk guitarist with a sexy babydoll voice. And quite a scream, as her cat-scratching everything to shreds at the end of "Wish" and "I Can Give You More" (among others) displays. She also happens to write some good songs. Nothing that's gonna end world hunger, but stuff that beats Gina Gershon's Prey for Rock & Roll, and that was written by Linda Perry (a good solo rec., ex-4 Non-Blondes, wrote a Christine Aguilera song). But I suspect Perry intentionally wrote mediocre songs; a struggling band should have a few good songs and plenty of filler, just like everyone else, right?
Barbara Ann coos and squeals through some songs, hissyfits and howls through others, and the end result is, well, like fucking and fighting with your girlfriend. Like life in general, really.
The really notable thing here is the professionalism. No one can say Barbara Ann doesn't know how to recruit good people to help her achieve her goal, which is to rock your ass off. Ode to My Freaks (which is a sweet if hoaky title) was produced by Ryan Green, the Fat Wreck Chords house producer, with a list of accomplishments that'd drop most punkers jaws. Bad Religion's Greg Hetson plays guitar and Good Riddance's Sean Sellers plays drums.
While not on the level of The Distillers, or even the Muffs (yet), I believe this is a debut. She looks good, she's got the drive and the connections, and she can easily write and play well-enough to win over naysayers. Hell, no one cares that Britney can't hold a tune any better than her top can hold her fake breasts, so people oughtta be GLAD Barbara Ann writes and plays her own music, little imperfections and all.