Telling Megadeth’s manager his charges “fucking sucked” may be Bill Baird’s fondest memory of his old band Sound Team’s brief, doomed major label days. A decade on, the rough-edged recalcitrance that made them so musically memorable is his whole, definitively cult artistic life.
His third and fourth solo album of the last 12 months show it’s the contracts that got small, not Baird. Baby Blue Abyss (6⁄10) rocks, relatively, as on the speeding, science-fiction bluegrass of Walking In A Straight Line.
Baird’s weary, almost impassive croon and deadpan humour across both records can’t hide his serious resistance to our self-deceiving, digitally distanced lives.
The mostly acoustic Easy Machines (8⁄10) is fatalistic yet hopeful, and the most focused, challenging singer-songwriter record in some years.