This is a blog about Bava Choco that Ricki C. wrote back in October, 2016 that the Pencilstorm editorial board decided we couldn't improve upon, so we're re-running it today.
Bava Choco's release party for their maiden CD - Death Ride - will take place at Ace of Cups this Friday night, January 6th. Doors at 8 pm, opening set by The League Bowlers at 9 pm, followed by Bava Choco. Admission is FREE. Details at Aceofcupsbar.com.
The first thing you’ve gotta know about Bava Choco is that they’re HIGH CONCEPT. By that I mean that lead singer Patrick Baracus has made sure that ALL ASPECTS of the band have been thought through and considered: the way the band dresses, the way the songs cohere, the stage presentation, etc. And In these 21st century days of bands having TOTALLY ZERO ideas, creativity or – God forbid – originality of thought or word, Bava Choco really stands out. (By this I mean, if I see ONE MORE BAND on Seth Myers – my choice of late-night viewing – with ABSOLUTELY NOT ONE REASON TO EXIST, done up in some mish-mash of thrift-store clothes, mismatched haircuts & not one iota of a notion of presentation I'm gonna put a bullet through my head, or more likely through my TV.) (Just like Elvis.)
Plus, Bava Choco is named after one of the “brands” of dope that Eric Stoltz is peddling to John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. And if naming your band after a heroin blend in a 22 year old Tarantino flick isn’t HIGH CONCEPT, I don’t know what is.
But really, screw all my HIGH CONCEPT guff: if THE MUSIC doesn’t deliver, why am I bothering to write about the band, and it’s THE MUSIC where Bava Choco really fries my synapses. I’ve seen Baracus in his previous bands – the mighty MC5-influenced squall of B.A. Baracus, some intermediate band whose name I can’t remember that opened for Colin’s Lonely Bones at the Rumba or Woodlands one Christmas show – and I have to say that Bava Choco is Patrick’s best venture yet.
Patrick told me one time when the band was still in rehearsals that he was just gonna say, “Fuck it, and unleash all of his Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fantasies” in his new band and – I’ve gotta say – I wasn’t particularly heartened by that pronouncement. I lived through heavy metal when it was first invented and my rocker brethren KNOW it’s not one of my Top Three rock & roll genres. But Bava Choco bring such a passion and fresh approach to quasi-metal it really took me back to those days of 1968 & 1969 when bands like Deep Purple were still really INVENTIVE and Tony Iommi actually incorporated some pretty jazzy chord voicings into the melee that was early Black Sabbath. It really wasn’t until the 1970’s that those bands collapsed into the terminal, plodding, drug-ridden/ravaged sludge-pit morass of metal that rock history is riddled with. (Are you listening Uriah Heep?)
Anyway, this is sliding out of hand, I’m about to start mumbling about the ‘60’s & ‘70’s when Bava Choco is a thoroughly MODERN rock & roll band: guitarist Eric French’s riffs & guitar stylings are a joy to watch & listen to and drummer Corey Gillen is a MONSTER of invention. So just go see ‘em this Saturday night: drink a few beers (then Uber home so you don’t kill anybody), support CD-102.5 and their Big Room Bar and dig The Kyle Sowashes and Earwig while you’re at it. It’s a Saturday night of rock & roll, what could you POSSIBLY have better to do with your time than that? - Ricki C. / October 13th, 2016.
ps. Since I’m supposed to be such a hotshot rock critic, two (easily correctable) criticisms of Bava Choco: 1) The first time I saw the band, Mike Lovins – who, by the way, happens to be a KILLER bass player – wore shorts onstage. Admittedly, it WAS high summer then (I stopped to watch a coupla softball games at Berliner on my way to the gig at CD 102.5), but NO self-respecting rocker should EVER WEAR SHORTS ONSTAGE. 2) Patrick was drinking beer during that set when this is obviously a band that should be swigging cognac straight from the bottle while lurching around onstage. Beer drinking is for league bowlers, Bava Choco is HIGH CONCEPT. If Baracus has to go so far as pouring beer INTO a cognac bottle before going onstage, he should take that step and project/protect the illusion.
For a little preview of the tunes, check out Bava Choco on Bandcamp