Baby in Vain, “Muscles”

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Baby in Vain

Denmark may be famous for its minimalist design aesthetic, but Baby in Vain are the latest Copenhagen band to eschew sterile simplicity in favor of grimy, sludgy rock. Fellow Danish acts like Iceage and Yung may be acclimating the world to the new scuzzy sound of their country, but Baby in Vain are blazing their own path with their new single, “Muscles.” Slow and brooding, the track’s infectiously dark riff pounds and repeats, punctuated by screaming guitar notes and vocals that alternate between sullenly defiant and hauntingly ethereal.

Drawing parallels with the White Stripes seems too easy; both swaddle muddy blues riffs in howling distortion without the help of a bassist. To do so, though, would blindly miss Baby in Vain’s inventive edge and a more ominous air than Jack White could ever wish for. Between aggressively insubordinate lyrical snips like “Politeness parasite” and indulgently reckless riffing as the track reaches a grinding finish, it’s clear that Baby in Vain are very much their own beast.

American listeners wanting to see these rebellious Danes in action are in luck. After a few shows in Norway, Baby in Vain are touring stateside in support of The Kills. Dates are below.

10 Norway at Kanonrock Festival
11 Norway at Makeskrik Festival
17 Norway at Bukta Tromso Open Air
18 Norway at Slottsfjeld Festival
27 Los Angeles, CA at El Rey Theatre (w/ The Kills)
28 Pomona, CA at The Glass House (w/ The Kills)

01 Detroit, MI at St Andrews Hall (w/ The Kills)
02 Chicago, IL at Metro (w/ The Kills)
03 Minneapolis, MN at First Avenue (w/ The Kills)
05 Denver, CO at Ogden Theatre (w/ The Kills)
08 Portland, OR at Roseland Theatre (w/ The Kills)
11 Los Angeles, CA at The Echo