March 26, 2006
SXSW Report #14: The Beautiful Newborn Children @ Emo's Inside Stage
The first show I saw on Thursday afternoon was a set by German punk-pop quartet the Beautiful Newborn Children. Their 2005 debut Hey People! sounded like the Strokes playing at Motorhead speed (with some Jesus and Mary Chain guitar noise thrown on top). The liner notes didn’t reveal much about the band, but Internet research revealed to me that singer/guitarist Michael Beckett has made a few electronic records under the name Kpt.Michigan. I heard one of them a couple of years ago and found it lacking, so I’m glad that Michael has put down the laptop and picked up a guitar instead.
Live, the Children’s guitars jangled and screeched just as beautifully as they do on record. However, the band ran through their songs so quickly that Michael could barely sing them! The melody to “Paper Tiger” was annihilated, with Michael simply shouting the words like a nerdy version of Mark E. Smith. On one song, the band invited a friend of theirs on stage to scream through a distorted microphone. They sounded almost exactly the same as they did when Michael was singing.
Although it’s only 26 minutes long, Hey People! ends about two or three songs after their loud-fast-and-fuzzy aesthetic starts wearing thin. Fortunately, the band played a few new songs that found them taking more chances with tempo and key changes.
The Beautiful Newborn Children had more energy than a room full of hyperactive toddlers. I hadn’t even been awake for two hours when they played, and I was already sweaty from jumping around to their music!
Author Sean Padilla at 2:27 PM