Perennial masters of Jazzmaster fuzz and dense classic-rock-meets-shoegaze burners, Baked return with a stunning new EP, known in most parts simply as 'II'. Recorded together by the band - R.J. Gordon (guitar/vocals), Isabella Mingione (keys/vocals), Jeremy Aquilino (bass/vocals), A.J. Pantaleo (drums) - and frequent collaborator Adam Reich (Shea Stadium, So So Glos, Bueno), the quartet take a step back from the slicker sound of Farnham. Their onslaught of guitars, keys, and layered melodies sound brilliant in the hazier textures, expanding their sound while keeping a raw live intensity. Baked recreate rock in their own image, thick, blown out, twangy, sleepy, and casually devastating with a stoned ease.
II offers a glimpse into all the elements that have come to define Baked. There are faster paced, heavier songs. There are mellow and laid back songs. It is the first record where all three of the band’s songwriters have at least one song, including Aquilino’s “lead vocal” debut. The process was more collaborative than ever before. Gordon shared, “We worked on song form and part writing together to help each songwriter get what they were striving for.” It’s an eclectic record, even at five tracks, but the writing is unified by the personalities at play. With themes that include tumultuous relationships, introspection, and self-doubt, each song has its own unique urgency.
Recorded at Little Eagle Studios, a home studio in the quiet New York suburbs, and the big guru Adam Reich’s Second Base Studios in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the band relied on each other to flesh out their ideas, and capture that undeniable sonic spark that rips through songs like “A Hartlett Anthem,” “Coma,” and “Hope You’re Happy.” Gordon mastered the record in his Maspeth apartment, affectionately named Angelo’s Pizza after the pizzeria that he lives above. It’s another cloud of slow burning jams and distorted rippers, with all the idiosyncratic charm you’ve come to expect from Baked.