Words by Sean Walsh
Let me first just start by saying if you are going to be that person to play this album on a set of non-equipped speakers, just stop reading this article right here…and go pick up a pair of solid headphones, a sub woofer, anything, and turn them puppies straight up to eleven, because that’s the only way to listen to Nottingham-rock-trio, Little Barrie’s “groovy as all get-out”, newest release, Shadow.
This could be an instant classic as far as I’m concerned…a reverb-heavy, rockin’ rodeo, that corrals a dark messy sense of shamelessness, recklessness, and strength into a corner, and hogties it into submission.
Little Barrie is Barrie Cadogan, Lewis Wharton and Virgil Howe, and their newest release is preparing them for a vault into the spotlight after years of remaining cautiously, carefully, and relatively low-profile. The bottled up tenacity and tightly-oriented rhythms on display, are more akin to the yesteryears of garage than their previous outings, but these are the sounds that encapsulate the thriving, profound, dirty, and tough as nails ego emanating from Shadow.
When I first got a hold of this release, the email that came over described it as the following:
“[It’s like] if the Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys had a child with behavioral problems.” – Now that’s the kind of anticipating news that I’ve been waiting for, for a long, long time. Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys are just some of the incredible influences I hear in this album. Call it what you will, but I can’t help but hear Cadogan’s other band Primal Scream, and maybe some Nada Surf? How ‘bout some Dandy Warhols? A little Butthole Surfers? White Stripes? I could go on, but I am not trying to draw a single comparison between LB and any one of those aforementioned bands. Rather than name dropping, it is more-so to give credit to Little Barrie, as those are some of important and notable artists to thrive in the garage-fuzz-rock eras. But, back to the album at hand…and its ability to take little bits of inspiration and frustration and skilfully weave them together, in such a delicate balance, as to create the fantastic set of tracks that comprises Shadow…
About 3 minutes and 45 seconds into “Everything You Want” you will also realize that this band is not scared, and is completely capable of embracing and intertwining, fuzzed out garage punk with immensely obtuse and dementedly–gorgeous atmospheric spacial appreciations. Although it is relatively short-lived, the sense of unease, the proverbial cliff-hanger could not have left me in any more anticipation than I already was. From “Bonneville’s” suavely-funkadelic opening, to “De Seleckt’s” gentlemanly-guttural-grooves….right on through to the album’s title track and final song, “Shadow”, never once does Little Barrie lack focus…exuding only the coolest-calm-collected and professionally confident demeanor, at all times.
While some may think that there might be some production lacking, I beg to differ. This type of music was never meant to be over-produced…It is meant to feel real, raw, messy, and cinematic in the way that can only be exposed when allowing sounds and silences to interact as organically as they can. That is the beauty of music my friends. So, if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you will grab this album as soon as it is out via Tummy Touch Records, on May 27th.
© May 27th, 2014
TheWaster.com | Shadow