The most interesting thing about last night's Razz/Babys show at the Ontario Theater was the distance between the two bands. It was the difference between a rusty nail and a safety pin. D.C.'s Razz was all brutal and basic rock 'n' roll dynamics. The Babys offered a monolithic drum kit, stacks of Marshall amps, a tier of keyboards, and the kind of glamor-boy fashion that was interesting in 1971.
The Babys are a band lost in the nether world of mid-'70s rock, trapped between the melodic hard rock of Farmpton, the simplistic crunch of heavy metal, and the desire to rock 'n' roll -- something they never accomplished. Where a rock 'n' roll band can lose itself in team play, a band like the Babys needed a visual and musical focus desperately, but didn't find it in John Waite's hoarse vocals or guitarist Wally Stocker's repetitious, soaring guitar figures.
With a single and album riding well on the charts, the Babys filled half of the Ontario. They only got half of that audience to fall for the flash bombs, strobe light and mindless drum solo in "Looking for Love." Their leaden rhythm section even ran Barrett Strong's classic, "Money," into the ground at the end. If half stood and cheered, the other half sat and waited for real rock 'n' roll which never materialized.