Cry Baby Cry

Jesus Loves Stacey

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The Washington D.C. punk/hardcore scene has metamorphosed through the years from a small collective of angry young teenage boys to a hotbed for any variant on the punk rock formula. A good example is the poppy, bouncy rock of Cry Baby Cry, who makes a strong impression on their full-length debut, Jesus Loves Stacey. Where 20 years before the release of this album they probably would have been ostracized by the savage local fan base, now they are on Dischord Records and are being produced by Jawbox/Burning Airlines leader J Robbins. The band is incredibly tight, pulling together some very memorable tracks with the sort of reckless urgency that propelled so many excellent bands in the early '90s. "Monkey's Darling" is a great example, a driving rocker that showcases the chiming guitars and pleasantly forceful vocals of James Brady. Elsewhere, "A Sad Song of Needless Complication" treats the listener to some of the catchiest hooks the band can muster, and guitarist Kathy Cashel's gorgeous background vocals are at their finest here. Slower songs, like the intimate "Metropolis," are well within the band's range and give the harder songs some breathing room. Overall, this is an excellent debut album from a band who shows a lot of potential and has a firm grasp on how to make memorable pop-punk.

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