The title of Baboon's new album, Something Good Is Going to Happen to You, is truth in advertising, so long as you crack the shrink-wrap and give it a few listens or, better yet, a few hundred. It would apply just as easily to the band, had someone said it to them a year or so ago, before they began recording at Last Beat's studio. Never before has the group made an album that's as versatile as it is volatile; 1997's Secret Robot Control and 1999's We Sing and Play EP had the pieces, but Something Good puts the puzzle together. The band -- singer Andrew Huffstetler, guitarist Mike Rudnicki, bassist Mark Hughes and drummer Steve Barnett, now joined by ex-Toadie Mark Reznicek on percussion and keys -- puts melody and malady in the same pot instead of merely on the same plate, stroking one cheek and slapping the other. Over a dozen songs, Baboon fields every position like a skilled utilityman, whether killing you softly ("Son," a wobbly marionette on synthetic strings; the piano-bar pang of "Goodnight, Good-bye"), tightening a noose of noise ("Pig Latin" -- and that's close enough to whatever's being said) or doing something in between ("Carried," where quiet has a head-on collision with loud). Like Huffstetler sings on "Evil," Baboon's "got something on everyone." You only hope they didn't save the best for last.
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Zac Crain