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Unsettling is the best way to describe NYC female fronted noise rockers Made Out of Babies' sophomore effort COWARD. From the unnerving cover photo of a beaten young boy to the ensuing eight tracks of atmospherically apocalyptic and menacing post-hardcore, this Brooklyn, NY quartet's love of the jagged and dissonant is well documented. Imagine Bjork, Helmet, PJ Harvey, Unsane, Jesus Lizard, and Diamanda Galas in the Royal Rumble to catch a whiff of what songs like "Proud to Drown" and "Fed" have in store for your ears. Lots of odd-signatures, spooky guitar licks, and thunderous claps of heaviness are woven into an admittedly irregular safe haven by way of musical tapestry, led by a startling vocal performance that summons howls, shrieks, whispers, and power from the depths of Julie Christmas' blackened soul. But buyer beware, this is not Fiona Apple. If you scare easily or get flustered at the thought of complex music that acts as a supplement to angst-ridden tirades and volatile episodes, then you can't handle Made Out of Babies.
- Mike SOS