PENGUIN EGGS MAGAZINE
Crybaby was a Canadian alt-country band from Toronto who made a splash with Paintings, their debut disc, in 1996. Since then they all moved on to other projects and singer Rae Billing did several solo projects after she moved to Hamilton.
In 2016, they got together for a 20-year reunion concert, which led to this new disc, which is something of a revival for them.
Based around Billing's voice, a low, full-throated, resonant instrument with an emotional quaver, the disc is another example of how many great musicians and bands there are in this country.
The guitars of Andrew Aldridge (Sarah Slean) and Steve Koch (Ron Sexsmith) make this an exceptional project but so does everyone involved, from Lucky Pete Lambert on drums to Scott Bell and Greg Brisco (bass and keys, respectively).
One of the highlights is a languidly mean version of the classic Bobby Gentry hit Ode to Billie Joe, but the other Billing's-penned tracks are equally compelling, dark, simmering tales delivered as only Billing can put them across. Strong stuff.