A multi-genre category like R&B/Soul/Funk cries out for a rule-breaking, wide-ranging, all-encompassing winner, and Fake Babies is the real thing. The self-described "dirty soul music group" records complex studio collages of sensitive statements, infectious rhythms, wry comedy and audacious funk. The four-piece ensemble of Justin Courtney Roberts, Bob James Nuzzello Jr., Gary Kiernan Velush and Jason Norman Sirianni is also an estimable live act. All four guys are skilled as producers and players, making for some heavy layered sounds that can evoke everything from Prince to Sly and the Family Stone to prog-rock and glam. They've also been together since 2008, making for a confident and fluid and controlled group sound.
A pay-what-you-wish four-song Fake Babies EP is available at fakebabies.bandcamp.com. The tunes were just released in August and offer everything from hip-hop stutters to bad-boy bass riffs to lush psychedelic interludes, all with soulful high-pitched vocals uttering such sweet nothings as "I want to kiss-kiss-kiss your body." The band regularly plays out everywhere from The Space in Hamden to fly-by-night spaces such as Lipgloss Crisis' Project Storefronts shop/cabaret on Chapel Street in New Haven. No excuse not to Fake-Baby yourself. —Christopher Arnott