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Broken Baby Announce New Album, Share Ferocious 'Get the Piss Up'


Their latest, an 11-song LP embraces that in-your-face ethic. 

Broken Baby Announce New Album, Share Ferocious 'Get the Piss Up'
Los Angeles band Broken Baby are back with a new single, and news of their sophomore album, Late Stage Optimism. "Get the Piss Up" is an instant classic from the group, pitting Alex Dezen's jagged guitar work against Amber Bollinger's attitude soaked vocal performance. It comes on the heels of the bands first show back, a sold out, sweat soaked night at LA's El Cid. The infectious track comes complete with a high adrenaline visual that finds the two performing in their garage, goofing around at home, and transported to a psychedelic night club.

"Did I make you nervous? How nervous?" sings Amber Bollinger, frontwoman for Broken Baby, on the L.A.-based band's second full length LP, Late Stage Optimism. Bollinger is a performer and songwriter whose performance art-grade stage antics sometimes make people nervous. And she's okay with that.

Broken Baby is the musical brainchild of veteran indie rocker/producer Alex Dezen (main songwriter and front man for the now defunct Brooklyn band The Damnwells) and Bollinger, a former college athlete and trained actor. As a working actor in Hollywood for years, Bollinger experienced seemingly unending sexual harassment and misogyny. If you follow the four-year-old band's history, it's clear that it was formed as a vehicle for Bollinger, both as a writer and performer, to channel her rage.

"Sexual harassment was totally normalized," she explains. But when #metoo hit, Bollinger was ready to channel her frustration into music. "I was in another band," she says, "and I just sort of showed up and sang, and I wasn't proud of it. The lyrics didn't reflect my beliefs. I filled a role which I was used to doing as an actor. It was unfulfilling." The reckoning Bollinger was experiencing was being writ large in the world. The music, and the band's performances reflected that. Broken Baby quickly started packing venues. Before the pandemic shut down live shows, Bollinger was crowd surfing and leaping over cocktail tables (she earned a scholarship in track and field). She gets in audiences faces, and not everyone loves it.

Their latest, an 11-song LP embraces that in-your-face ethic. Late Stage Optimism features punchy guitars reminiscent of The Runaways, snaking bass lines, and stacked lead vocals from Bollinger that snarl, owing as much to The Breeders as SoCal punk.

On "Die! Die! Die!" Bollinger takes the mantle from feminist, proto-political groups like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Sleater Kinney, but adds her own anti-capitalism bent. She sings, "We're all gonna die/but not before we buy what we cannot afford." Then, turning the tables on the patriarchy, adds, "I didn't' realize you were squeamish/ from down there underneath my boot."

On "Manic Panic," a track that's pure, post-apocalyptic Blondie, Bollinger manages to work "mammary glands"-another nod to riot grrrl icons like Kathleen Hanna-into the chorus, and confesses "Sometimes I swing and miss/ sometimes I'm just a big old dollhouse bitch." But Late Stage Optimism isn't just gloriously bitchy. It has plenty of moments of vulnerability, too. On "Cloud Coverage", Bollinger tackles the subject of depression and mental illness "It's a sunny day, just not in my brain, wish I knew what was wrong with me."

Recorded primarily in the couples' El Sereno, CA, home during the pandemic, producer and mixer Dezen, who is a veteran of home recordings (the first Damnwells album for Sony was recorded by Dezen and a friend in a Manhattan storage space), breaks from the sloppy, bedroom aesthetic of other DIY bands and delivers a sound that feels like it came out of a posh studio set ablaze-think Electric Ladyland with all the knobs set to 11.

As a former actor, Bollinger is acutely aware of the way she internalized the shame of being commodified, as many women do. Broken Baby has become a kind of antidote to that shame. "Ultimately, I just want you to see that I'm in front of you. If you like it that's great, if you hate it, that's also great. I want to be seen."

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