From Pure Magazine 1994

Baby m Comes Sweeping down the Plain

by Chris Auman


Pure Magazine

In 1907 Oklahoma became the 46th state to join the Union. In 1910 Oklahoma City was named the state's capital. In its formative years, Oklahoma depended mainly on livestock and agriculture as its source of revenue. In 1928 the discovery of oil drastically changed the state's economy.

Oklahoma is home to more than sixty Indian tribes. It is also the home of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, the National Softball Hall of Fame, various Will Rogers memorials, the Oklahoma Firefighters Museum, and Baby M.

State historians trace the origins of Baby M to Tulsa, Interstate 44, and the summer of 1988. It is here that Mike Comstock and Todd "Friendly" Redding worked many a hot afternoon for the Department of Animal Control, scraping roadkill from the baked Oklahoma asphalt. It is in this honest and humble occupation that the two discovered that they both enjoyed music and both played 'geetars'.

With a drummer named Jim, Comstock and Redding established Baby M, as well as their record label, House of Suffering Records. Three albums were produced on House of Suffering, Condom Nation, It's Not So Much the Heat—It's the Hallucinations, and Loozer. Gigs were played throughout the Southwest, and a Baby M following was formed.

Happy, but not completely content with their accomplishments, Baby M's insatiable appetite to try new things drove them out of the warmth and comfort of their native land. Plotting a course into the cold chasm of the unknown, Baby M hunkered into the city of Chicago with a hankering to play their own southern-fried brand of loud rock'n'roll. Why our fair city? Well, they tinkered with the idea of Texas, but Texas "is just Oklahoma only bigger." They wondered about the West Coast, mulled over Manhattan, but finally took a shinin' to Chi-Town.

It is in Chicago that the trio discovered that the local music scene was not as embracing as the one they left behind. They found the Chicago scene to be as cold as its winters. "We can go down South and play to a thousand people," notes Comstock. "It's good to have that in your back pocket but we needed a change of pace." The compulsion to push the borders of their music northward has kept Baby M here, for now, and things may be warming up.

Truth Squirts is the debut CD for Baby M. It's sort of a greatest hits compilation of their first three vinyl releases. It is also a diverse, sixty-five-minute collage of musical styles: metal, punk, country, and funk with a couple of prank phone calls by Travis, The Minister of Pranks, thrown in for yuks. It's got distribution in Europe, and it has been spoken kindly of by many a record reviewer. It even received an "8" from Illinois Entertainer, which is just shy of "Superfly," but miles above "Barnaby Jones" on Lisa Burnett's IE Detective rating system.

Truth Squirts pokes fun at southern life, drugs, sex, even Tom Vu is not spared. Despite the less-than-subtle comic element of the band, Comstock maintains that Chicago hasn't caught the gist of their Southern shtick. Their name pokes fun at the conservative environment that gave birth to Baby M. "It's a natural environment for rock'n'roll," Comstock adds. Indeed, it's in this sort of climate that boredom and rebellion are bred.

Now in '94, Baby M has a new drummer, because Jim opted for the slower-paced lifestyle of back home. Kip McCabe, former stickman for Loud Lucy, has joined his Southern brethren. (Kip is from Louisville, Kentucky). "I think that's why he jells so well with the band." Admit Comstock. "We can relate better to people who enjoy more than three months of cold weather."

It is in this new lineup that Baby M will release their next CD of bombastic pop, aptly titled Bombpop, which promises to be a more streamlined effort. Whereas Truth Squirts and their previous recordings were an eclectic musical hodgepodge, Bombpop is more focused and dare it be said, more accessible. Accessibility is often times synonymous with "commercial" in the paradoxical realm of the underground and it can be taken as an insult to indie credibility. But Baby M is ready for the postnatal world.

They're growing up and so is their sound, and trying to get a foothold in this frigid rock town ain't easy.

In fact, Comstock explained that if there was any sort of concept that inspired this new album it would be "two years of being here (in Chicago), being cold and being nobodies." The past two years might just have been worth it.

© 1993-2020 Chris Auman