Tuesday 13 February 2024

Barren Womb - Chemical Tardigrade (Album Review)

Release Date: 16th February 2024. Record Label: Fucking North Pole Records/Blues For The Red Sun. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Chemical Tardigrade - Tracklisting


2.Bug Out Bag 03:49

3.Campfire Chemist

4.Bachelor of Puppets 03:18

5.Keep it R'lyeh



8.Blackout Yoga

9.Squat Walker

10.High Fructose Napalm Syrup

11.Dung Lung


Timo Silvola

Tony Gonzalez


Norwegian Hellraisers Barren Womb return with another round of aggressive sounding Noise Rock/Punk Rock/Sludge Rock sounds with their fifth album Chemical Tardigrade. Playing a catchy style of demented and Apocalyptic fuelled songs has always been Barren Womb’s style and they show no signs of slowing down or mellowing out. The record is full of spiky lyrics and pissed off vocals that have a visceral Hardcore element to them when the record needs to hammer the message home and get down and dirty with the Noise Rock crowd.

However, there are moments of modern day Sludge/Stoner Rock drawing upon bands such as QOTSA, Whores, TORCHE, Part Chimp and even bands such as HELMET to keep listeners on their toes. With this being the band’s fifth album I was surprised and delighted that Barren Womb continue to change their music yet again to include a diverse selection of different sounds compared to their previous records. This is still BARREN WOMB being BARREN WOMB but there’s a lot of new creative energy that will no doubt impress their dedicated fanbase with.

The album opens with a batch of great Noise Rock/Sludge Rock based tracks with McLembas, Bug Out Bag and Campfire Chemist being dominantly heavy with the Punk Rock/Hardcore aspect having a slight Garage Rock vibe within the production values used for Chemical Tardigrade. There’s also a fantastic DEVIL MAY CARE attitude with the black comedic lyrics that Barren Womb brings to the album.

Barren Womb also offers a warped Psychedelic energy which allows the record to become heavier and even more daring on later tracks such as Bachelor Of Puppets, D-Beatles, Squat Walker, High Fructose Napalm Syrup and Dung Lung. The sound can be quite nasty and mean but Barren Womb always finds a way to smooth things over with a thrilling Sludge Rock groove that appears out of nowhere and offers a brief moment of Psychedelic heaviness which sees them adopt a TORCHE-esque sound which is always a good thing in my book. Though fans of KVELERTAK will find great common ground on the album as well.

Chemical Tardigrade runs for around thirty eight minutes in length and it’s the perfect length for Barren Womb to unleash their creative  aggression to the underground masses. The album perfectly encapsulates the era of 90’s Alt Rock scene with modern day Noise Rock/Sludge Rock surroundings that leave you wanting to hear more.

Barren Womb have released their catchiest, filthiest, most surreal and outstanding release to date with Chemical Tardigrade. Enjoy this great album if you’re feeling brave enough…

Words by Steve Howe 

Thanks to Viral Propaganda PR for the promo.

Chemical Tardigrade will be released on DD/Vinyl via Fucking North Pole Records/Blues For The Red Sun from Friday 16th February 2024


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