Don’t Touch Ma Bebe is a three-piece rock band from the small student city of Wageningen (The Netherlands); Koen on the bass, Krissie on the drums and German vocalist and guitarist Svenja. Every Tuesday afternoon the three students take Krissie’s crash ‘bebe’ to the old factory near the river Rhine and create raw dynamic rock sounds that are meant to strike a nerve. They don’t beat around the bush, but say it how it is, when addressing societal and everyday problems.
Starting in September last year, the idea of Don’t Touch Ma Bebe was a short-term project until February. The writing and arranging began and by December the band already had a complete new set of 12 songs. In this flow, Don’t Touch Ma Bebe decided to continue. The EP Problems of the Privileged was recorded in February just before the band was forced to take a six-month break. It was then published November 6th of this year. The band’s biggest performance was at Paradiso in Amsterdam for Penguins at Paradiso in April this year.
The five-track EP Problems of the Privileged opens with “White Walls.”Sounding like a beautiful combination of Florence and the Machine, Don’t Touch Ma Bebe combines powerful, rhythm-driven indie-rock with melodic, soulful vocals. A throbbing drum beat, a dark electric guitar chord progression and an addictive bass riff converge into chaos during the chorus, but this is primarily due to the beautiful vocals of Svenja. Of course, the entire band plays their individual parts wonderfully, and this is the recipe for a great band. Nobody feels as if they’re simply filler. There’s a lot into which listeners can sink their teeth.
‘The Last Repetition Song’” may be repetitive, but it’s catchy and danceable, so that’s entirely warranted. The intriguing element of this song is its rapid and ever-fluctuating tempo, along with the rather impressive fact that the rest of the band can keep up with these frequent changes. Svenja’s vocals are sweet and quiet throughout, with occasional spatters of falsetto and elongated notes to really vary and strengthen the track.
The funky bass rhythm of “No Nine To Five” had me hooked from the beginning. This electrifying, soul-empowering riff is accompanied by incredible vocals once again. I feel they’re worthy of note, because Svenja never falters, and she has a star quality to her voice. This isn’t amateur hour; it sounds like a professional band. Maybe, one day, it will be.
All in all, Don’t Touch Ma Bebe has only offered a small snippet of their capabilities within this short EP, but I like what I hear. If you’ve been looking for something not only new, but of a really high quality within the indie-rock world, then this EP is well worth your listen. I’d say it’s only 20 minutes of your time, but you’ll probably end up giving it repeat listens.
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