Wednesday, 31 May 2017

BARRABUS - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: June 09th 2017. Label: Undergroove Records. Format: CD/DD

Barrabus – S/T – Tracklisting

My Nightmare As A Reality TV Contestant
The Trials Of Joseph Merrick
Master Of Disguise
Behind Closed Doors
In League With Vader
This Is The End

Band Members:

Paul Catten (Vox / Electronics / Theremin)
Mark Seddon (Vox / Guitars / Noise)
Matt Keen (Vox / Bass )
Adam Evans (Vox / Drums)


I can't lie to you. I'm a HUGE fan of pretty much anything Paul Catten is involved in. I all but stalked Murder One back in the day, and The Sontaran Experiment is another favourite of mine. That said I missed out on Barrabus the first time round for whatever reason so I was more than a little pleased when this turned up for me to review.

There were some little teaser videos doing the rounds about a month ago featuring no more than 30 seconds of music (which turns out to be roughly half of my favourite song on the record) which nicely whetted my appetite for more...

Opening track "My Nightmare As A Reality TV Contestant" starts of with a nice percussive riff with vocals that sound like they're going through a megaphone, before the song fully bursts into life just past the minute mark. It effortlessly lurches from one frenetic section to the next before it's closing and repeated vocal refrain "This show will be the death of me..."

Next up we get the 1.19 "The Trails Of Joseph Merrick" the song from the teaser video. I'll be honest when I first saw the video I was hooked. Again it switches through styles and aggression levels as it violently propels itself towards its conclusion. Special mention for the fucking feral vocals at the 0.29 second mark. Every time I hear it I immediately want to lose my shit to it.

In a genre (though I'm not sure this is technically a "sludge" record) were there are few very distinctive vocalists surely Paul Catten has to be amongst the greats. Morrow and Mike IX essentially...

The rest of the record thematically follows suit. Songs come and go never outstaying their welcome, moving through tempo, style and ferocity as the mood takes them. All in all this great self titled record is a fantastic release, chock full of excellent musicianship, a great production and a refreshing approach to songwriting as there are no generic formula's followed here.

A must have record.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Simon at I Like Press for the promo. Barrabus – S/T will be available to buy on CD/DD via Undergroove Records from June 9th 2017.