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About The Baltimores

From the Illinois Entertainer, December 1997

Baltimores, Plastico Del Mundo (Kingsize Platters)

If you found a bunch of musically accomplished five year-olds, let them pick their favorite instruments from the toy chest, force-fed them chocolate milk and Snickers Bars, and then let Chuck Uchida record the whole mess, you might get close to the effect of The Baltimores. Plastico Del Mundo is a fittingly quirky debut release for Pulsar Dave Trumfio's record label Kingsize Platters. The Baltimores, make up of personnel from musically eccentric bands like The Howards, The Blue Meanies, Flavor Channel, and Chia Pet, are to pop music what worm holes are to the Starship Enterprise. The ultra-nerd rock of "Dance Pants" is all spiky metallic needles of sound, driving totally distorted vocals that sound like they were recorded through a Jack-In-The-Box drive-thru speaker. "Chicken Had A Dream" is a breezy, Latin-tinged lounge tune that sounds like updated Martin Denny, with a killer/kazoo/guitar solo and lyrics that include references to a Jacques Tati film festival. Beneath all of this weirdness lies some rather impressive playing and musical notions. With the passing of outsider geniuses like Zappa and Sun Ra, it's heartwarming to find a band that is not afraid to try and pick up the freak flag. Wave on.

- Murray M. Coffey

From the CMJ New Music Report, Issue 555, Feb 2, 1998

Baltimores, Plastico Del Mundo

We're fairly certain that at the heart of this warped five-piece there lurks a perfectly normal, if somewhat dysfunctional, ska/punk band band waiting to get out. However, considering the psychotic weirdness evident on Plastico Del Mundo, its imminent escape ain't likely. The Baltimores are way too whacked to allow their music to be squeezed into more traditional formats. Instead, they have surrendered to their madcap creative instinct, letting the party come tumbling from their skulls at top speed. Banjo, Farfisa, theremin, Stratocaster, sax and bike horns all combine to form a churning, funky sound that heads straight for the feet after tickling the funny-bone. Songs like "Dance Pants" and "Gravity" showcase the Baltimore's Ween-like ability to turn silly nonsequiturs into muscular, potent imagery. "Your Sorry Ass" floats on a groove akin to, believe it or not, early Chicago -- all '70s cheese and smooth -- but the tune's goofy vocals and strong bass accents forge an undeniable intensity. Maximum lunatic potential is achieved on "Thunda Bug", "Northern Lights" and "3 Martini Lunches", a fire-breather about the trial and tribulations of psychiatric lockdown.

- Greg Corrao


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